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Full text of "Advertising and selling : principles of appeal and response"

ADVERTISING 
AND SELLING 

PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL 
AND RESPONSE 

By Harry L. Hollingworth 

Instructor in Psychology 
in Columbia University New York City 



Published for the Advertising 
Men's League of New York City Incorporated 



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D. APPLETON & COMPANY 

Publishers New York 



ADVERTISING 
AND SELLING 

PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND 
RESPONSE 

Harry L. Hollingworth 

Price $2 00 net Bv mail $2.16 



npHIS book has resulted from the co- 
-*- operative attempt on the part of a 
group of practical business men and 
one or two individuals whose interests 
were scientific, to formulate and sys- 
tematize those facts and laws which re- 
late to the processes of appeal and 
response in the selling and advertising 
of goods, and to undertake new investi- 
gations which might result in the dis- 
covery of new facts and principles with 
both practical and scientific interest. 
The book is intended for sales managers, 
advertising managers, business heads, 
and such students as may be interested 
in the practical side of advertising and 
selling. It aspires to render serviceable 
the accepted facts, laws and methods 
resulting from a wide study of human 
nature and human behavior. Business 
men will find the volume to contain a 
mass of suggestive material carefully 
worked out with a view to producing 
actual results for those who have 
merchandise to sell. 



D. APPLETON & CO. 
Publishers New York 



•'•'^4. 

/ii«' 



ADVERTISING 
AND SELLING 



ADVE RTISING 
AND SELLING 

PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL 
AND RESPONSE 



BY 

HARRY L. HOLLINGWORTH 

INSTBCCTOR IN PSYCHOLOGY IN COLUMBIA UNIVEBSITT, NEW YORK CITY; LECTUREB IN 
BDSINESS PSYCHOLOGY, SCHOOL OF COMMERCE, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY. 




PUBLISHED FOR THE ADVERTISING 
men's LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY, INC. 

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 

1913 



Copyright, 1913, by the 
ADVERTISING MENS LEAGUE OF NEW YORK CITY, INC. 



Printed in the United States of America 



^\C)~o 



PREFACE 

This book has resulted from the cooperative 
attempt, on the part of a group of practical busi- 
ness men and one or two individuals whose in- 
terests were chiefly scientific, (a) to formulate 
and systematize those facts and laws which re- 
late to the processes of appeal and response in 
the selling and advertising of goods, and (b) to 
undertake investigations which might result in 
the discovery of new facts and principles of both 
practical and scientific interest. This attempt 
has proceeded on the basis of four distinct aims, 
which it is well to have clearly in mind. These 
aims have been: 

(1) To sort out, from the general body of 
psychological doctrine, such principles as under- 
lie the mental processes involved in creating, pre- 
senting and reacting to appeals which are pre- 
sented in the form of advertisements, arguments, 
selling talks, etc.; to state these in systematic 
form for convenient acquisition and reference by 
the active and prospective business man. 

(2) To examine such various methods, media 
and devices as have proven clearly successful or 



vi PREFACE 

unsuccessful in known circumstances, places, and 
with different commodities, and to deduce and 
formulate any principles revealed by such com- 
parative study. 

(3) To carry on, in a cooperative way, new 
experiments and investigations, by exact scien- 
tific methods, and with the definite intention of 
helping to render the technique of the laboratory 
more and more serviceable in handling the prac- 
tical problems of daily business life. 

(4) To devise accurate and reliable methods of 
testing beforehand the probable value of appeals 
which are intended for actual use in advertising 
and selling, (a) by more exact study of the known 
principles of appeal and response and their ap- 
plications in business transactions, and (b) by a 
comparison of laboratory tests with keyed results 
produced by the appeals in business campaigns. 

The results of this cooperative attempt are pre- 
sented in the chapters which follow. The first 
line of work will constitute the skeleton of the 
book, and the results of the other inquiries will 
be introduced by way of illustration and proof of 
the principles presented. 

The book is intended primarily for the general 
reader and for the student with practical rather 
than theoretical interests. It does not pretend 
to present nor even to conform to any particular 



PREFACE vii 

"system" of academic psychology, but aspires to 
render more concretely serviceable, within a par- 
ticular field, the accepted facts, laws and methods 
resulting from the experimental study of human 
nature and human behavior. But it is hoped that 
the professional student of human nature may 
also find the motive and method of the book to 
be at least suggestive, and in that sense valuable. 
In its original form the book consisted of a 
series of lectures given, during several successive 
years, under the auspices of the Advertising 
Men's League of New York City. This fact de- 
termined the practical bearing of the material 
presented. It is quite impossible to give due 
credit to all whose work has been of service to the 
writer in this undertaking. From the practical 
point of view the suggestions and criticisms of 
the members and chairmen of the League Round 
Tables have been invaluable. On the scientific 
side, an attempt is made in the bibliography to 
indicate the chief sources which have been specifi- 
cally utilized. But I must render particular 
thanks to the many members of my college classes 
whose zeal and labor have made many of the ex- 
periments possible. I am under especial obliga- 
tion to Dr. E. K. Strong, Jr., at one time assist- 
ant in the Barnard laboratory, and since Re- 
search Fellow, in Columbia University, for the 



viii PREFACE 

Advertising Men's League and the National As- 
sociation of Advertising Managers, for his con- 
stant interest and assistance, and for a great 
amount of data, more specifically referred to in 
the text. 

But, above all, the very existence of the book, 
the opportunity of preparing it, and very much of 
such concreteness and value as the book may con- 
tain are due to the untiring activity and the stim- 
ulating professional ideals of Mr. Wm. H. Inger- 
soll. President of the Advertising Men's League. 
It was under his leadership that the Round Table 
Study Course was conceived and effectually or- 
ganized, and through his suggestions and advice 
that the course on Principles of Appeal and Re- 
sponse was originally planned. 

Harry L. Hollingworth. 
Columbia University, 
New York. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 



PAGES 



1. — Measuring the Strength of an Appeal 1-lG 

Machinery' Advertisements — Soap Adver- 
tisements — Electric Light Advertisements. 

II. — The Nervous Basis of Mental Processes 17-27 
III. — The Analysis of Task and Media . . . 28-45 
The Task — Analysis of Advertising 
Types — Media. 

IV. — The First Task : Catching the Attention 46-59 

Causes of Attention — Results and Laws 
of Attention. 

V. — Mechanical Incentives 60-90 

Intensity — Magnitude — Motion — Con- 
trast — Isolation — Position. 

VI. — Interest Incentives 91-126 

Novelty — Color — Cuts and Illustrations — 
Suggested Activity — The Comic — Feeling 
Tone, Instinct and Habit. 

VII. — An Experimental Test of the Relative 
Attention and Memory Value of the 
Mechanical and Interest Devices . . 127-131 

VIII. — The Second Task : Holding the Attention 128-141 
Mechanical Helps — Interest Devices. 

IX.— Feeling Tone of Form 142-157 

Lines — Closed Forais — Principles of De- 
sign. 

ix 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTEB PAGES 

X. — Feeling Tone of Content 158-188 

Character of Colors — Color Combinations 
— Color Balance — Feeling Tone and Im- 
agination — Strain and Relaxation, 

XL — The Third Task: Fixing the Impression 189-215 
Principles of Connection — Laws of Origi- 
nal Connection — Pidnciples of Revival — 
Minor Devices — Memorability of Different 
Kinds of Facts — Trade Marks — Vicarious 
Sacrifices in Advertising. 

XIL — The Fourth Task: Provoking the Re- 
sponse 216-236 

Direct Appeals to Feeling — The Nature 
and Laws of Suggestion — The Laws of 
Suggestion. 

XIII. — Instincts, Their Nature and Strength . 237-252 

XIV. — The Relative Strength of the Chief 

Instincts and Interests 253-286 

Summary. 

XV. — Sex and Class Differences of Interest 

TO Business Men 287-305 

Sex Differences — Age and Class Differ- 
ences. 
Books and Articles Referred to in the 
Text or Recommended for Further 
Reading 306 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND 
DIAGRAMS 

PAGES 

Machinery advertisements 6, 7 

Soap advertisements 12, 13 

A long circuit appeal 23 

A short circuit appeal 25 

A classified appeal 32 

Publicity appeal 34 

Publicity appeal 34 

Display appeal 36 

Display appeal 37 

Forms of focal points of attention 47 

An experiment on attention 57 

Graphite advertisements 68, 69, 70 

White on black 77 

Attention value of isolation 79 

Absence of counter attraction 80 

Novelty as an effective attention device 93 

The conventional 94 

The novel 95 

Curves showing visual acuity with lights of differ- 
ent colors 97 

Chromatic aberration in the human eye 104 

Illustration as an attention and interest device. . . .106 

The use of illustration 107 

A strictly relevant illustration 110 

xi 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND DIAGRAMS 

PAQES 

An irrelevant illustration Ill 

A remotely relevant illustration Ill 

Irrelevant illustration 112 

Violating the law of the resting point 116 

Illustrating the law of the resting point 117 

The objective comic. The calamity 121 

The objective comic. The naive 122 

The subjective comic. Play on words 123 

The subjective comic. Play on words 124 

Influence of repetition on the objective comic... 125 
Influence of repetition on the subjective comic. . . .126 

Figures appearing to change character 134 

Cards from New York Subway 135 

Securing unity through structure 136 

An attempt to secure unity by mechanical means. .138 
The fine black line, suggesting precision and hard- 
ness 143 

The broad black line, suggesting solidity and 

weight 144 

Appropriate use of horizontal lines 145 

Inappropriate use of diagonal lines 146 

Feeling tone from direction of lines 148 

Rhythm in design 152, 153 

Balance of mass against vista 155 

JMechanical balance of mass against mass 155 

The law of balance disregarded 156 

Harmonious coordination of subject, type and 
trade mark 167 

Type faces suggesting refinement and delicacy of 

the texture 167 

Inappropriate feeling tone 174 

Feeling tone of associations inappropriately used. .175 

Strain 178 

xii 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND DIAGRAMS 

PAGES 

Relaxation 179 

Use of lower case letters and of favorable length 
of line 180 

Illegibility resulting from the exclusive use of capi- 
tal letters 182 

Illegibility and strain is produced by too great 
variety of type faces, interrupted lines and in- 
effective spacing 183 

Illustrating the ease of reading and feeling of 
relaxation produced by the use of lower case 
letters and by the presence o^ appropriate 
spacing 184 

Forward reasoning — correct arrangement .-r 194 

Backward reasoning — incorrect arrangement 195 

The curve of forgetting 203 

Relative attention value of fifty geometrical forms. 213 
General and specific appeals 240, 241, 242, 243 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND 
RESPONSE 

CHAPTER I 

MEASUEING THE STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 

One of the first tasks of any science is that of 
devising methods of measurement. There could 
be no science of physics without the possibility of 
measuring forces, velocities, magnitudes, temper- 
atures, etc. Experimental psychology arose only 
when men began to succeed in measuring the in- 
tensity, speed, uniformity and difference of men- 
tal and motor processes. In so far as salesman- 
ship is to be scientific it must also evolve methods 
of measuring its materials. 

Now the first step in any business transaction 
is the presentation of what we may call, for the 
sake of convenience and simplicity, an appeal. 
This appeal may take the form of an advertise- 
ment, an informal selling talk, or a more direct 
proposition such as a form or personal letter or 
circular, or it may consist merely in the knowl- 

1 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

edge, on the part of the customer, that a given 
commodity possesses certain desirable qualities, 
will accomplish certain results, etc. It will be 
seen at once that all salesmen are not equally 
persuasive, all advertisements are not equally ef- 
fective, nor are all qualities or re&ults equally 
valuable. A question of prime importance, then, 
is : ' ' How is it possible to determine the strength, 
the * pulling power' of an appeal?" If such meas- 
urement is possible, this will be the first step 
in the application of scientific method to this 
field. 

It is, of course, obvious that the relative 
strength of appeals may be measured by the de- 
termination of the actual results: the number 
of inquiries, the amount of sales, the cost per 
sale, the demand for the articles, etc. Attempts 
to make these measurements have always been 
made. The sales of each salesman have been 
checked up with those of others, advertisements 
have been keyed, by means of different addresses, 
street or box numbers, differently numbered cata- 
logues, etc. The effects of changes in location, 
new methods of display, etc., have been judged 
by the subsequent changes in output. But two 
difficulties in the use of these methods are appar- 
ent at once, 

2 



MEASURING STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 

In the first place it is exceedingly difficult to 
trace, with any precision, the actual effect of an 
appeal already presented. Innumerable disturb- 
ing factors complicate the calculation : the sea- 
son, the medium, the activities of competitors and 
imitators, the method of sale (whether retail, 
wholesale, mail order, etc.), the effects of other 
means of publicity which may be operating at the 
same time, changes in styles, wants, and general 
prosperity on the part of consumers. Conditions 
are not under control and even inferior methods 
may occasionally be more remunerative, for the 
time being, than a more cautious attempt to se- 
cure the uniform conditions of trade, circulation, 
competition, etc., which would be required for a 
careful experimental measurement. 

The second difficulty is that such methods are 
costly. All the measurements take place after 
the appeal has been presented, and expenses must 
be met regardless of the success or failure of the 
appeal. Cooperation might afford relief at this 
point were it not for two facts. The results of 
one campaign involving one commodity, one clien- 
tele, one set of executive and distributive opera- 
tions, cannot be carried over bodily to another 
business venture in which all or several of these 
factors are changed. Further, business is com- 

3 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

petitive, and successful methods are not pro- 
claimed and communicated to all comers. 

We must devise, then, not only a method of 
measurement, but a method which will permit of 
measurement beforehand, and which will be so 
flexible as to permit adaptation to widely variant 
circumstances. And since we are dealing with 
such subjective things as interest, feelings, per- 
suasions, attention, choice, motive, action, belief, 
we cannot employ any objective scale such as the 
yard stick, the balance, the clock work, or ther- 
mometer. But we need not despair. In the psy- 
chological laboratory we find students measuring 
the intensity of sensations, the degree of atten- 
tion, the strength of belief, the legibility of hand- 
writing, the agreeableness of color combinations, 
the excellence of literary compositions, the emi- 
nence of scientific men, the humor of comic situ- 
ations, and many other things which are no less 
subjective than the persuasiveness of a selling 
talk or the pulling power of an advertisement. 
It was in such a laboratory that the first success- 
ful attempt was made to measure beforehand the 
relative strength of such appeals as are com- 
monly employed in business. In the following 
portions of this chapter descriptions will be given 
of some of these measurements, which were made 

4 



MEASURING STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 

in my own laboratory, either by myself or by my 
students and fellow workers. In later chapters 
the various methods employed will be presented, 
and I shall further show how the application of 
such laboratory methods enables us not only to 
measure the strength of the appeal as a whole, 
but also to analyze it into its various elements. 
By means of such analysis we can determine the 
nature of these elements, the ways in which peo- 
ple of various ages and classes react to them, the 
deeper-lying reasons for these reactions, and can 
present in concrete detail the processes going on 
in the mind of the customer engaged in a busi- 
ness transaction. 

In the following accounts the general plan will 
be: 

1. To secure measurements, by laboratory 
methods, of the probable relative values of vari- 
ous appeals. In doing this we must arrange for 
controlled conditions by restricting the appeals 
to the same commodity or type of article, and 
by keeping uniform, for the time being, such 
items as size, legibility, familiarity, etc. These 
factors will later be discussed, each in its proper 
place. 

2. Having measured the appeals in the labo- 
ratory, we shall secure the actual returns or re- 

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PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

suits which the appeals produced. Partly for this 
reason printed advertisements are chosen as ma- 
terial rather than letters, personal interviews, or 
the commodities themselves. The results will, 
however, apply as well to the various sorts of 
appeal already enumerated in so far as they have 
elements in common with the advertisement. 

3. We shall then compare the laboratory meas- 
urements with the actual returns provided by the 
business concerns using the advertisements, in 
order to see in how far the actual results after 
circulation agree with the laboratory results 
which could have been determined beforehand. 
In no case were the actual results revealed until 
the laboratory measurements had been already 
made and announced. 



MACHINERY ADVERTISEMENTS 

The first series studied was a set of machinery 
advertisements shown in the illustrations on pp. 
6 and 7. There are five appeals, of uniform size, 
each constituting an attempt to influence buyers 
or inquirers in favor of the same commodity. The 
following table shows the results of the labora- 
tory test, the ten persons experimented on being 
seniors in an engineering school, thus represent- 

8 



MEASURING STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 

ing the general class of people to whom such ap- 
peals would be directed in the natural course of 
business. If a given appeal w^as found to be the 
strongest for a given individual, it was marked 1 
for him. If it was found to be the least persua- 
sive, it was marked 5, and the intermediate posi- 
tions indicate corresponding places in the order 
of strength. In the final column of the table is 
given the actual order of merit of these five ad- 
vertisements, determined by the number of in- 
quiries which followed upon each when run in the 
same medium. It is not necessary at this point 
to discuss two factors which will at once occur 
to the mind of every business man: the ''cumu- 
lative effect" of successive appeals, and the "law 
of diminishing returns" which may operate when 
a series of appeals is presented to the same body 
of readers. These factors will be treated in their 



TABLE I 



Appeal 



A 
B 
C 
D 
E 



Ten different persons 
tested 



3 2 3 2 
5 14 5 
13 14 

4 5 5 3 
2 4 2 1 





Order of 


Average 


Superiority 




by test 


3.0 


4 


2.6 


2 


2.3 


1 


4.4 


5 


2.7 


3 



Order of 

Superiority 

by actual 

returns 

4 
2 
1 
5 
3 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

proper places. They do not influence the signifi- 
cance of the returns in the case now under con- 
sideration. 

If now the relative values of these appeals, as 
judged by actual inquiries produced, be compared 
with the order as determined by laboratory tests, 
it will be seen that the two orders agree perfectly. 
The tests showed C to be the strongest and D to 
be the weakest, and, as a matter of fact, C pulled 
forty times as many inquiries as did D, in spite 
of the fact that the cost of running and preparing 
D was six times as great as for C. The other 
appeals range between these two extremes. The 
testing of this series in the laboratory before 
their appearance would have resulted in the elim- 
ination of the weaker appeals, and consequently 
in increase of returns and diminution in the 
cost of publicity. The reasons for the striking 
differences in the strength of these five appeals 
will be made clear in subsequent chapters. Analy- 
sis leads to the discovery of differences and of 
principles which are true not only for the appeals 
in this series but for appeals in general. The 
point to be made now is that the laboratory test 
is a genuine and reliable measure of the pulling 
power of the different advertisements. 

10 



MEASURING STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 



SOAP ADVEKTISEMENTS 

A second case of close agreement is shown in 
Table II. The series of appeals consisted of 
eight advertisements. Two laboratory tests were 
made, one on 25 people, and the other on a differ- 
ent group of 100 people. The advertisements are 
shown on pp. 12 and 13. The first column in the 
table gives the letters used to identify the adver- 
tisements. The second column shows the relative 
persuasiveness of the appeals as determined by 
the first experiment, the third column as deter- 
mined by the second experiment. These two tests 



TABLE II 





Result of 


Result of 


As judged 


As judged 


Appeal 


First 


Second 


by 


by 




Experiment 


Experiment 


Pack'rMf.Co. 


Advt. Agency 


A 


1 


2 


4 


2 


B 


2 


1 


1 


3 


C 


3 


3 


2 


1 


D 


4 


4 


3 


4 


E 


5 


5 


5 


5 


F 


6 


6 


6 


6 


G 


7 


7 


7 


7 


H 


8 


8 


8 


8 



agreed perfectly except that advertisement A, 
which stood first in pulling power in the first test, 
stood second in the second test. The fourth col- 
umn gives the relative order of merit of the ap- 

11 





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13 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

peals, as judged by the manufacturing company 
concerned, on the basis of twenty years' experi- 
ence. The final column gives the order as judged 
by three experts of the advertising agency which 
had charge of this firm's publicity campaigns. 
Each of these various orders was determined in- 
dependently, and without knowledge of the results 
of the other orders. The agreement is almost as 
striking as it was in the case of the machinery 
appeals. A change in the grading of just one 
advertisement in each of the last three columns 
will make all four columns agree. It is apparent 
that a preliminary laboratory measurement af- 
fords real knowledge of the strength of such ap- 
peals. 

ELECTRIC LIGHT ADVERTISEMENTS 

A third example must suffice by way of merely 
illustrating the reliability of the laboratory meas- 
urement. Table III shows five electric light ad- 
vertisements as measured first by laboratory test 
and second by the cost per inquiry produced. Ap- 
peals A and B are the best two by both measure- 
ments. On appeals C and D the two measure- 
ments agree within one place in the series. Only 
on E is there any considerable discrepancy. 

14 



MEASURING STRENGTH OF AN APPEAL 



TABLE III 



Appeal 


Order as measured 

by 

cost per inquiry 


Order as measured 

by 

laboratory test 


A 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 




2 


B 


1 


C 


4 


D 


5 


E 


3 









Many significant things are revealed in these 
experiments which enable us to formulate general 
laws as well as to test the value of the specific 
appeals. By way of illustration, it must suffice 
for the present to call attention to appeal B in 
the first experiment, that with the machinery ad- 
vertisements. Notice that in Table I, where the 
measurements of each of the ten people are re- 
corded, B stands either at the top or at the bot- 
tom of the series of five appeals — never in the 
middle. Except for two people this appeal stands 
either first or last, and these two exceptions are 
not real differences, for even here the positions 
are 2 and 4. This means that there are two types 
of people in the group studied. For one type ap- 
peal B is very effective, and these are, be it noted, 
the very people for whom appeal D is very weak. 
For the other group, for whom appeal B is weak, 
D is fairly strong. Each of these appeals B and 

15 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

D, then, influences only one-lialf of the group of 
people. To secure a more universal appeal it 
would be necessary either to run both advertise- 
ments, thus doubling the cost of returns, or to 
construct a third type of appeal which should 
combine the virtues of B and D. Appeal C is as 
close an approximation to this ideal appeal as 
the series affords. Note that it stands fairly high 
for both types of people. Only in two cases does 
it stand below the middle of the series. These 
differences are not accidental nor peculiar to this 
series of appeals. They are found in many series 
and with every group of people I have had occa- 
sion to study. Explanation of these facts will be 
given in due time. 



CHAPTER II 

THE NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

Every mental process, even that of being im- 
pressed or repelled by an advertisement or a 
salesman, lias a nervous basis. We have many 
proofs of this dependence of consciousness upon 
the nervous system. Thus injuries to the ner- 
vous system affect our consciousness, as do drugs 
which act temporarily upon the nerve tissue. 
Many forms of mental disease are caused by de- 
structive processes in the nervous system. Ex- 
perimental physiology finds that certain areas 
in the brain are control centers for certain sets 
of movements and of higher sensory and mental 
processes such as seeing, hearing, understanding 
the meaning of words, associating ideas, etc. All 
of our knowledge depends on the possession of 
sense organs — eye, ear, etc., and these sense or- 
gans are only special modifications of parts of 
the nervous system. Finally, comparative anat- 
omy shows us that in the animal series, from low- 
est to highest forms, increase in the coniplexity 

17 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

of consciousness is always accompanied by in- 
creased complexity of the nervous system. 

Consequently, any study of mental processes 
should take account, also, of the underlying ner- 
vous processes. Such an account not only aids 
greatly in the explanation of the mental proces- 
ses, but also serves as a scheme or diagram which 
is useful in systematizing and remembering the 
mental processes themselves, their laws, and their 
relations to each other. 

Considered from this point of view a man is 
simply a nervous mechanism, which is capable, 
on the one hand, of being sensitive to objects and 
events in the outside world, and, on the other 
hand, of responding to these impressions by the 
various sorts of movements which make up his 
reactions, his behavior. Sensation on the one 
hand and movement on the other, sum up his life. 
When the sense impression is very simple — a 
sound, or a flash of light — we call it a stimulus; 
when it is more complex — an invitation, a prob- 
lem, a strange object, an argument or an adver- 
tisement — we call it an appeal. When the reac- 
tion is very simple we call it a movement; when 
it is more complicated, and perhaps involves many 
movements, we call it a response. 

All mental life, then, can be analyzed into the 

18 



NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

two simple elements of appeal and response. A 
motorman suddenly sees a danger signal and 
stops his car. The red light is the appeal, and 
his movement in applying the brakes is the re- 
sponse. We try to teach a child to talk. The ob- 
ject we point to is the appeal, his speech move- 
ments are his response. Even the little polite- 
nesses and civilities of social life, the conven- 
tionalities of the street, the seashore, the banquet 
table, are solely a matter of this or that response 
to this or that situation. What distinguishes the 
insane man from the rest of us is the fact that 
he responds wrongly or irregularly to the stimuli 
and appeals of the world in which he is placed. 
In salesmanship the situation is quite the same. 
Given a certain salesman, a certain article, a cer- 
tain set of advantages or arguments, this consti- 
tutes the appeal. The important factor remain- 
ing is the way in which the customer will respond 
to the given appeal. The operation of an adver- 
tisement, be it good or bad, is precisely the same 
process. The appeal here usually comes through 
the sense of sight; it consists, let us suppose, of 
a poster of definite size, position, color and com- 
position, and it advances certain selling points 
for the article it desires to announce. Here is the 
sensory side, the stimulus. Now how does the 

X9 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

passerby react to the appeal? It may "catch his 
eye," he may read it through, and, either now or 
on a later occasion, buy the article. Or he may 
behave quite differently. The appeal may never 
come into his consciousness, in which case the 
poster is passed unnoticed. Or he may observe 
it, remark, "What a glaring, unsightly blotch of 
color!" and pass by on the other side. No mat- 
ter which of these things he does, it constitutes 
his response — a response made up of movement 
and general behavior. 

A pertinent question now is : What is the ner- 
vous mechanism of such a process; what hap- 
pens in the nervous system when a man responds 
to a stimulus? Here, then, we must get some 
knowledge of the nervous elements, and some in- 
sight into the way in which these elements com- 
bine to form the complex nervous system. 

The simplest nervous mechanism that can un- 
derlie a process of appeal and response is a com- 
bination of two nerve cells. These cells are mi- 
nute structures with a main body and two sets 
of branches. The cells are situated for the most 
part in the brain and in or alongside the spinal 
cord. There are, in the main, two kinds of nerve 
cells, sensory cells and motor cells. The sensory 
cell sends one long branch out to the surface of 

20 



NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

the body to some sense organ, as the eye, ear, 
finger tips, etc. The other branches of this cell 
are short, and run chiefly toward motor cells 
which lie at a greater or less distance from it in 
the brain or cord. These short branches are met 
by the short processes coming from the motor 
cell, which in turn sends its long fiber out to a 
muscle, in some more or less remote part of the 
body. 

This arrangement constitutes what is known as 
a ''reflex arc," because nervous impulses pass 
along it much as do electrical currents along a 
circuit. Nervous energy set up by the outside 
stimulus passes along the sensory fiber to the cen- 
ter, where it is transmitted to the motor cell and 
passed on out to the muscle, reinforced, perhaps, 
by energy from other cells that are acting at the 
same time. The result is a movement of the mus- 
cle. The response is caused directly, we may even 
say mechanically, by the energy generated by the 
stimulus. So the nervous element falls into two 
sections, a sensory end which, is the basis of ap- 
peal, and a motor end which is the basis of re- 
sponse. 

These pure reflexes are not usually accom- 
panied by consciousness. The impulse simply 
passes into the spinal cord and out. Examples 

21 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

of such reflexes are blinking the eye when struck 
at, sneezing, coughing, the heart beat, etc. 

But this simple arc represents the lowest level 
of nervous activity, that controlled by spinal cen- 
ters. In the human being we may point out two 
higher and more complicated levels, which involve 
in the one case the higher brain, or cerebrum, and 
in the other the lower brain area, the cerebellum, 
medulla, etc. 

Thus some appeals do not lead to an immediate 
and reflex response, but require deliberation, com- 
parison and choice. These higher thought proc- 
esses, processes of reasoning, argument, and de- 
cision, depend on the activity of nervous centers 
in the cerebrum. The sensory impulse, instead of 
issuing from the cord at once, in the form of a 
motor impulse, passes over a more devious path. 
It runs up along the cord to the higher brain cen- 
ters and sets up activity through processes which, 
on the side of consciousness, appear as memories, 
associations, trains of thought, judgments. Only 
after these processes have been brought to bear 
on the appeal, when the past experience, conscious 
knowledge, interests, purposes, and ideals have 
determined what sort of response should most 
profitably follow — only then does the reaction 
come. What the response will be, or when it will 

22 



NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

come, can not be predicted from the outside, as 
was the case with the simple reflexes. The re- 
sponse may be delayed, its character is uncertain, 
and it may be quite out of proportion to the phys- 
ical strength of the stimulus. 



Before you build, learn the itiN'estment advantages 

NATCO l-ldLLOVv/TILE 



MUl PKOOf - 

lur I I— » 




I »« t 



NATIONAL- FiRE ■ PRCJDFING COMPANY 




A Long Circuit Appeal 

Such a process of appeal and response operates, 
we may say, by means of the higher level. It in- 
volves what we may call in the psychology of ad- 
vertising and salesmanship the long circuit. It 

23 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

is apparent at once that it corresponds to a well- 
known type of selling talk, the reason why copy 
which invites and presents careful comparisons 
and weighing of advantages and disadvantages, 
copy which consists of the candid exposition of 
selling points. 

But there are objects in our experience which, 
although they do not provoke an immediate re- 
flex response, are, nevertheless, reacted to much 
more quickly, uniformly, and strongly than those 
which operate over the long circuit. Thus, in 
looking over a book catalogue there are certain 
titles which immediately catch my attention and 
lead me to examine them closely. Other titles I 
may seem not to see. If I am out walking on a 
fine afternoon and see a baseball game in pro- 
gress in a nearby field, I find myself stopping to 
watch it, quite as a matter of course and with no 
preliminary deliberation. If I am passing through 
a lonesome part of the city on a dark night and 
see a stealthy form slink behind a tree ahead of 
me, I instinctively reach toward my hip pocket or 
tighten my grip on my walking stick. So when 
the mother sees an advertisement that offers an 
article guaranteed to promote baby's comfort, or 
when an ambitious man sees a device described 
that will certainly economize his time or other- 

24 



NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

wise increase his efficiency, he finds that, quite 
in an unpremeditated way, he has left off doing 
other things and is reading through the announce- 
ment or description. All of these responses, 
while perhaps not immediate, are, nevertheless, 
quick ; they are strong, and we can be reasonably 




Hands Tied? 

Do5oii\Miittogcton-S1irrrFD I 

L, Hurt a certain line .if 

work >uu think Ji)u coulj do Ktttr in— 
if>ouoii]5 h nl Itie training Or Kerljin 
kind of pi>snit>ii >ou \M)uUI like t)hoId 
only Mill fcjr \ .iir •liiiiK jrc tic 1 



This Coupon is for YOU 




A Short Circuit Appeal 



certain in advance what their character will be. 
We will find that in such cases the object has ap- 
pealed to some universal instinct, interest or de- 

25 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

sire, or has awakened some strong feeling. Sucli 
appeals call into action centers which are prompt, 
powerful and definite in their response. Such a 
process, then, involves what we may call the short 
circuit. Such an appeal obviously, in turn, cor- 
responds to a distinct kind of argument, the dis- 
play/ advertisement or the emotional selling talk 
which does not argue but simply attempts to work 
on strong feeling, instinct or ideal. The range 
of such special appeals is exceedingly wide, for 
there are many objects in our experience toward 
which we all react by this feeling circuit, without 
stopping to ask why we so respond. Our reaction 
is determined beforehand, for the most part by 
the history of the race in dealing with these ob- 
jects. 

Generally speaking, it is true that the long cir- 
cuit is determined chiefly by the past experience 
of the individual, the short circuit by the history 
of the race. All of us behave in both ways. The 
particular way in which we respond on a given 
occasion will depend on the character of the ap- 
peal, the commodity concerned, the type of the 
person, his age, sex, present activity, and a great 
number of other individual differences which it is 
the business of psychology to study, classify and 
explain. 

26 



NERVOUS BASIS OF MENTAL PROCESSES 

The practical value of a study of human nature 
comes to depend on the fact that there are some 
universals, some ways in which all people are 
alike. When no such universal traits are found, 
there will be either types or classes, the members 
of which resemble each other, or the members of 
the race will be distributed according to a more 
or less bilaterally symmetrical curve, with the 
greatest number of individuals arranged about 
the average or central type, while others depart 
from this type both above and below, the num- 
ber of people for a given character becoming less 
the further that character is from the type. 

Here, then, is a concrete problem in salesman- 
ship and advertising. For what sort of com- 
modities and with what sort of people is the direct 
short circuit appeal eifective ; what objects and 
classes of objects can be effectively advertised 
and sold by an appeal to special feelings or in- 
stincts? And for what objects will the long cir- 
cuit be employed, the reason why argument, most 
effectively? Some answer to these questions we 
may hope to get as we continue, answers based 
partly on our general psychological knowledge, 
partly on the concrete experience of practical men 
and partly on definite experiments now being per- 
formed in the laboratories. 

27 



CHAPTER III 

ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 
THE TASK 

We may analyze the task of an argument or 
an advertisement in terms of the reflex are, for 
their operation is the same as the operation of 
any other stimulus. The process is always: 

1. Stimulus catches attention, comes to no- 
tice, separates itself from other impres- 
sions. 

2. The impression either (a) at once drops 
out of consciousness, or (b) holds the at- 
tention, i.e., becomes dominant in con- 
sciousness and causes adjustment of the 
perceiving organ for closer examination. 

3. In so doing it arouses central associations, 
memories, interests, feelings, and becomes 
firmly attached to these ; the impression is 
fixed, and remains as idea or image. 

4. It leads to motor response. This response 

28 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

is an essential factor in determining the 
final meaning of the appeal. Psycho- 
logically as well as commercially, the re- 
sponse is one of the most important ele- 
ments in the whole process. 

Always bear in mind that a sensory impression 
or revived image has its inevitable motor issue. 
This will be an important principle later on. We 
shall only mention it now. And remember that 
this response does much to determine the charac- 
ter of the perception. Observe this process when 
a fly lights on the baby's cheek, or when we run a 
sliver in our finger: 

1. We say: ''Oh! what's that? Oh! it's a 
sliver. ' ' 

2. We carefully observe the sliver, locate it, 
observe its length, depth, etc. 

3. By the short circuit we respond at once by 
instinctive movements, sucking, grimacing, 
pressing, etc. 

4. By the long circuit we compare, remember, 
reflect, and either secure a jackknife or go 
to a doctor. 

5. We remember the event and act more 
quickly next time by virtue of this mem- 

29 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

ory and response. The object is charac- 
terized by the response. 

An advertisement must go through the same 
process : 

1. I see Ingersoll's watch advertisement with 
the many hands. I say: "Hello, what's 
that?" 

2. I examine it, read it through with care. 

3. But now comes the apparent difference be- 
tween the advertisement and the ordinary 
stimulus. With the ordinary stimulus the 
response, we may think, is immediate. But 
it is not always. With lower forms of life 
this is true. But the chief difference be- 
tween man and lower forms is in the re- 
tarded reaction. Even the response to a 
pin prick may be delayed and complicated. 
Such delay usually characterizes the re- 
sponse to an advertisement, and this con- 
stitutes one of the two chief psychological 
differences between advertising and sales- 
manship. Hence the impression must be 
fixated for delayed response, must be re- 
membered, and given, in memory, prefer- 
ence over other advertisements for simi- 
lar commodities. 

30 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

4. Finally the appeal must lead to specific 
response, to favorable action toward the 
particular article or brand announced. 

This analysis gives us the psj^chological tasks 
of an appeal. It will be advantageous to preface 
our study of these four tasks with a brief exami- 
nation of the pure psychology involved in these 
four aspects of the reflex are : 

1. In the first section we have to do with the 
psychology of attention and perception. 

2. In the second with the psychology of at- 
tention, interest, and feeling, etc. 

3. In the third with the psychology of 
memory, association, emotion, mental 
imagery, etc. 

4. Lastly with volition, habit, instinct, effec- 
tive conception, imitation, suggestion, etc. 

Before taking up the investigation of these four 
fundamental sections, we may with profit get a 
general view of advertisements in their different 
forms, see what the general psychological char- 
acter of each type is, and inquire in which forms 
the psychological subtleties play a role, and in 
which they do not. Let us first examine the ap- 
peal with respect to its own purpose and charac- 

31 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

ter, and then with respect to the medium in Avhich 
it is found, for media as well as individual adver- 
tisements have their psychology. 

ANALYSIS OF ADVERTISING TYPES 

With respect to their quality and purpose, we 
may distinguish three chief types of advertise- 
ments. 

I. The Classified Advertisement. — Here the 
psychological subtleties play their feeblest role. 



A Splendid 
Opening for a 

Special 
Representative 



^ There are several sections of 
^** the country where repre- 
sentation is wanted. A Jeading 
publication in its field. A liberal 
offer" to the right men. If you 
want to add another paper to 

Box T. P. M., 



A Classified Appeal 



The classified advertisement contains a simple an- 
nouncement or invitation, intended only for those 
who are a priori interested in it. It will be sought 

32 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

for by the proper person. In fact, you would 
rather the other person did not see it. His cor- 
respondence would only annoy you. You already 
have attention and interest. You need not seek 
for mnemonic qualities, for the right person will 
surely make a memorandum of the matter. You 
will have no difficulty in provoking response. The 
right person will respond without further incen- 
tive. The only psychology involved here is the 
psychology of intelligibility. We must observe : 

1. The psychology of expression — of clear, 
accurate and succinct statement — and this 
chiefly as a means of eliminating the 
wrong correspondent. 

2. The ordinary psychology of typography — 
the laws of reading, spacing, position, 
cataloging, color, legibility of type, etc. 

3. The knowledge of media, which is not so 
much a matter of a priori psychology as a 
matter of advertising technology and sta- 
tistics. This is a separate field in the sci- 
ence of business in which there is yet much 
to be done. 

II. The Publicity Advertisement. — This type 
is not, strictly speaking, an advertisement at all, 
i.e., it does not pretend to operate successively on 

33 



PRIxVCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



NATIONAL 
BISCUIT COMPANY 
GRAHAM CRACKERS 
— 104^ am 

A PACKAGE 



Publicity Appeal 



^ ^ JL ^ O KA. x-j 




Publicity Appeal 

34 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

the complete arc. It is a public reminder, in- 
tended to reinforce informative appeals already 
issued or about to come. It usually seeks merely 
to familiarize a name or trade mark already 
known, or excite curiosity concerning a com- 
modity about to be announced. 

(1) Its psychology is usually mechanical — 
utilizing the principles of size and con- 
trast. 

(2) Its mnemonic psychology is also me- 
chanical, utilizing chiefly the principle of 
repetition. 

(3) But it also involves the psychology of 
names, that of trade marks and that of 
the memorability of different hinds of 
facts. 

III. Display Advertisements. — In display ad- 
vertisements the role of psychological factors is 
most prominent. The display advertisement ex- 
plicitly takes the place of the salesman; it is a 
direct appeal, and is calculated to provoke a more 
or less direct, and more or less immediate re- 
sponse. According to its kind, it may work 
through the rational circuit or the feeling circuit. 
All parts of the arc are thus involved. It is con- 
sequently on this type of advertisement that we 

35 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

will base most of our analysis, chiefly because of 
its ideal character. But all that is said of this 




Display Appeal 



type will be seen to apply in greater or less 
degree to the two other types, and to all forms of 
business appeal which have elements in common 
with advertisements. 

36 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 




Papers Bo!m of Necessity 



EVERY "Eagle A" Water-marked Bond Paper is a paper 'with a 
reason — each was born cf necessity — the necessity of fiaying a paper 
which in quality, color and hnish would best adapt itself to the needs 
of each individual user. 

There is an *' Eagle A " Bond Paper for the man who 
wants one million circulars end who figures the cost 
first; aa well aa a peper of distinctive character and ex- 
cluBiveness, for the man Who orders one thousand letter 
beads and who considers quality first and cost lasL 

" Eagle A" Bond Papers are not of one grade. They're 
of thirty-four grades. They are not for one use. They 
are for every use. But they are all of lOO^o value, 
whether it be a paper on which to address a bank presl- 
deijtt, or to write a memorandum to the ofHce-boy. 

To' make each one of the 34 Bond Papers a Qualrty-plua 
Paper— to give to each a distinctive character and qual- 
ity, color and finish — to Trade-mark the whole with the 
Water -mark of the "Eagle A" — and to place them 
within the reach of every paper-user, is a condition 
iDade possible only by twenty-nine mills, each making 
paf^rs of necessity, but all united for the economic 
production and marketing of each particular grade. 

Look hr Uu "EatU A" WaUr-majiu It't a foeJ habit 






"Em1>.A" Pa»<r tUt wmU U iHt U«r(«4 U jwm MaiiT 

AMERICAN WRITING PAPER COMPANY 
i Main Street 09 um^ Holyoke, Mass. 



Display Appeal 



MEDIA 

With respect to media, we may briefly sum- 
marize the chief psychological characteristics, if 
only for the sake of having them stated. Every 
business man knows the points in a more or less 
defined way, and, indeed, with much more cer- 
tainty than I do. But you will always find 
knowledge clarified by an attempt at expres- 

37 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

sion. Expression discloses fallacies, shows up 
vague spots, and crystallizes truth. 

We may roughly distinguish eight classes of 
media. The list is not complete in this day of 
multitudinous publicity devices, but the classes 
may roughly cover the field. Briefly, these classes 
are as follows, classified according to psychologi- 
cal character and situation: 

I. Newspapers, Magazines, Periodicals, Trade 
Journals. — Here the appeal is more or less inci- 
dental .to other matter contained in the medium. 
Everybody reads, and while reading may happen 
upon the advertisement. But the essential part 
of the medium is the other content. Generally 
speaking, if the appeal is to compete with this 
matter, it must vie with it in attractiveness and 
interest. 

1. Studies (see Scott) of 2,000 newspaper 
readers show this to be especially true 
here. One-half of these Chicago men, 
from all ranks, read two papers daily, one- 
fourth of them read three, while 10% read 
as many as four. The average time spent 
on these papers daily is 10-15 minutes, 
though many people spend as much as two 
38 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

hours. Only 4%, indeed, spent less than 
15 minutes, while 25% spent more. 

That news is the chief item of interest in papers 
is also indicated by Scott's table in which about 
70% of interest goes to news, and only one-half of 
1% explicitly to advertisements. 

Obviously the successful newspaper advertise- 
ment must in some way compete with news inter- 
est. The classified advertisement does this suc- 
cessfully, for it is in itself an item of news to 
those for whom it is intended. This type of ap- 
peal, then, is psychologically adapted for newspa- 
per insertion. 

2. The display advertisement can, then, in- 
crease its power by becoming newsy. This 
point has already been emphasized by 
Kennedy in his chapter on "Advertising 
is News." This idea, again, is of course 
the basis of the well-known success of the 
Wanamaker news sheet in the dailies. The 
more the advertisement resembles news 
in its tone, the better it will compete in 
interest with other news items. The suc- 
cess of this competition is well illustrated 
by an incident which I quote on the au- 
thority of Edwin Balmer, who says in 
39 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

''Science of Advertising": "One of tlie 
Philadelphia newspapers, which had pub- 
lished Wanamaker's advertisements for 
years, lost 20,000 circulation when the ad- 
vertisement was withdrawn, and regained 
it again when the department store's pat- 
ronage returned" (p. 20). It does not 
necessarily follow from what I have just 
said that newspaper advertising should 
imitate the form and style of news para- 
graphs. This would be too much like the old 
trick advertisements that began with some 
startling declaration which read like a 
news item but wound up by extolling 
Somebody's Bitters or Corn Salve. Ad- 
vertising that attracts by deception is psy- 
chologically vicious. The point here is 
simply that newspaper advertisements 
should be informative in character, that 
they should really convey interesting news 
-f of stock, prices, styles, location, changes, 
sales, etc. The newspaper is thus specially 
adapted for local advertising. 
3. The value of magazines as a medium is 
high, but of course depends both on the 
character of the magazine and on that of 
the subscription list. Scott observed 600 
40 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

men in the Chicago public library, noticing 
what part of the periodical they were 
reading at the moment observed. He found 
101/2% of these men reading advertise- 
ments, and remarks that probably few did 
not look at the advertising pages before 
leaving. A prominent advertising expert, 
knowing the Chicago library, remarks that 
these results are not typical of general cir- 
culation, that libraries are always full of 
loafers who never buy and seldom read, 
but who come in to pass away the time by 
looking at the pictures. Concerning trade 
journals, little need be said. Appeals here 
much resemble classified advertisements. 
They reach a selected class of readers, 
those for whom they are intended, and are 
often, by this very fact, full of news in- 
terest of a business kind. 

II. Circulars, Hand Bills, Posters, Bulletin 
Boards, Electric Signs, Placards and Signs in 
Street Cars. — The news interest is largely absent 
here, and for two reasons : 

1. There is no news interest to be contended 
with. 

41 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

2. Their size or duration forbids the news in- 
terest type for lack of space or time. 

For such media the publicity appeal is hence 
psychologically adapted with its simple purpose 
and mechanical method. Perhaps the chief excep- 
tion is to be found in the case of car advertise- 
ments. In the average city, each inhabitant, it is 
said, averages 10 minutes daily in street cars. As 
to number of people — in 1902, five thousand mil- 
lion cash fares were collected from passengers on 
street cars in the United States, besides passes 
and transfers. For the past year the New York 
subway averaged over 1,000,000 passengers daily. 

Appeals here have longer time to impress them- 
selves than in papers and magazines, and the aver- 
age passenger is unoccupied. Hence, there is not 
so much need of devices for catching attention, 
and more room for use of logic, persuasion, affir- 
mation, beauty, etc., than in other places. But 
there is more need of devices for holding atten- 
tion because of competing cards. The eifect of a 
suggestion is determined not only by its fo)'ce 
but by its duration as well. 

III. Size, Form, Decoration, Color, and Illumi- 
nation of Store, Comfortable Service, Waiting 
Chairs, Courteous Attendance, etc. — This is a 

42 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

more or less indirect form of solicitation, but a 
very successful one, other things being approxi- 
mately equal. It is an indirect appeal to the feel- 
ings exclusively, hence is a distinct psychological 
type of advertising. 

IV. Printed and Stamped Novelties, as Lead 
Pencils, Paper Weights, Note Books, Calendars, 
Knives, Rulers, Tapes, Togs, Puzzles, etc. — The 
value of these depends on their utility, which en- 
sures their constant observation; their appropri- 
ateness, which should reinforce the mere name; 
and their distribution to the right parties, those 
who do the buying. I have heard of a leather 
wallet handed out by one John Bauer, grocer, 
which amply fulfilled its purpose, and led its 
ow^ner time after time to John Bauer 's counter. I 
recall, also, quantities of cheap memorandum 
books advertising Hostetter's Bitters which al- 
ways found their resting place in the street or 
stove. It is probable that this medium, if care- 
fully handled, is capable of good results and in 
the adequate form is not sufficiently utilized. 

One of the strongest points in it is the element 
of good will created by a gift. We instinctively 
feel approval of the man who gives us something, 
and the psychology of good ivill in the novelty 
could be developed at great length. This is the 

43 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

basis of the old idea of salesmanship a la carte, 
and though the idea is being abandoned by sales- 
men, this is not because it was not good in its day. 
It needs a rest, and soon will be as effective as 
ever. A good discussion of the principles under- 
lying this type of appeal may be found in Bunt- 
ing's ''Specialty Advertising." 

V. Registers, Directories, Theater Programs, 
etc.. Resembling Class II. — Advertisements here 
do not hope to compete in interest with other con- 
tents of the medium. They utilize moments of mo- 
notony or other incidental moments. The adver- 
tisements, for instance, in the directory cannot 
hope to compete with the reason for opening the 
book. They are read while waiting for ' ' central, ' ' 
while waiting for the curtain to rise, or for the 
porter to bring in the baggage. Hence publicity 
or reminder will be their chief aim, except in so 
far as they are classified advertisements : hotels, 
restaurants, garages, liveries, etc. 

VI. Delivery Wagons, Street Banners, Floats, 
etc. — These are commonly used for emphasizing 
places of business, for invitation, or for mere pub- 
licity, but also can be utilized for atmospheric ef- 
fect, hence resemble Class III. 

VII. Samples, Catalogues, Agents, Traveling 
Men. — The firm here comes directly to the buyer. 

44 



ANALYSIS OF TASK AND MEDIA 

There is little or no question of attention. The 
personal element of the appeal usually guaran- 
tees initial attention and also has much to do in 
determining the further course of the response. 

VIII. In a separate class we may include the 
personal communication, the form letter, the "fol- 
low-up" literature of booklet and pamphlet. This 
form of solicitation seems to constitute a connect- 
ing link between public advertising and the direct 
work of agents and salesmen. There seems at 
present to be some uncertainty among advertising 
men as to whether such appeals should so far as 
possible simulate personal correspondence, or 
whether, for instance, the form letter should be 
frankly impersonal. This is not a point on which 
a priori opinions have much weight. Experi- 
mental tests are needed before any safe conclu- 
sions can be drawn. An ''armchair psychology" 
could easily specify and generalize and dogmatize 
here, but an experimental science must wait for 
more data. 

Having taken this general view of the situation, 
let us now consider the four tasks, and study the 
psychological factors involved in each. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE FIEST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

Attention may be defined in two ways: (1) As 
an act of adjustment — or we may speak first of 
the act of attention. This is what happens when 
we take notice of a stimulus. It is almost synony- 
mous with perceiving, and means that the given 
stimulus has become clear, and that there has 
been an act of accommodation in the sense organ 
employed — eye, ear, finger tips — which tends to 
bring about still clearer perception. 

(2) This is the point at which we plainly dis- 
tinguish attention according to its second defi- 
nition — as a state of consciousness, or the state of 
attention. This attentive state is characterized by 
the dominance of one idea, image, impression, or 
a set of these and the subordination of all others. 
Consciousness always has a focal point, and this 
focal point is always occupied by the thing to 
which we are attending at the time. We may 
represent this state by some such figure as a 
wave, the crest corresponding to the focal point 

46 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 



and the slope corresponding to the margin of the 
field; or we may liken it to the field of vision 
which always has a fixation point which is clear 
and a margin which is obscure, 
figures will serve as examples: 



The following 




Forms of Focal Points of Attention 



The matter of attention is not wholly an arbi- 
trary one. The individual consciousness does not 
deliberately decide what shall be attended to and 
what not by an act of will. If it did the field of 

47 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

advertising and selling would find itself astonish- 
ingly limited in its field of effective appeal. 

But the act of attention is largely controlled by 
heredity, past experience, mood, interest, and 
character of the individual. Far down in the 
scale of animal life we can detect the rudimentary 
basis of what we call attention. There we call it 
'' prepotency of stimuli." We find these lower 
forms indifferent and unresponsive to many 
forms of stimulation, but reacting vigorously and 
quickly to others. These ' ' prepotent stimuli, ' ' we 
find, are highly important in the life of the ani- 
mal concerned, although, so far as we know, he is 
utterly unaware of their significance. Thus, the 
cock-roach always retreats from the light toward 
the shadow, while the moth leaves darkness for 
light, even singeing its wings through the irre- 
sistible attraction of the flame. The young chick 
pecks instinctively at certain kinds of objects, the 
new-born kitten is attracted by certain impres- 
sions of touch and smell and reacts to them. Even 
among the microscopic animals tropisms are 
found — certain strong and apparently mechanical 
reactions of approach and appropriation directed 
toward certain colors, objects, temperatures, etc. 

So in human consciousness, not all stimuli be- 
come effective. The phenomenon of adaptation 

48 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

clearly shows this. We soon become adapted to 
the presence of the hat on our head, the clothes 
on our back, even to the pebble in our shoe or the 
temperature of the stoking room. We are con- 
stantly passing things without seeing or hearing 
them. We come in from the night and do not 
know whether or not the stars are out, whether or 
not the evening train just came in, whether or not 
we locked the door behind us. There are two rea- 
sons for this apparent obtuseness : 

1. The range of attention, which we shall later 
see to be extremely limited, so that at any 
given moment we can attend to a very few 
things only, being oblivious to or only 
vaguely conscious of all else that is hap- 
pening. 

2. Attention follows interest. — Generally 
speaking, we attend to things because they 
interest us or have some vital import in 
our lives. We cannot attend to things that 
do not have, from one point of view or an- 
other, interest for us, for all that we mean 
by the interest which a thing has is its 
power to attract us, to lead us about and 
to direct our action toward it. 

49 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

There are two kinds of interesting things : 

A. The first kind includes things which are in- 
teresting only because of their consequences — 
their immediate or remote results — such stimuli 
as the creaking of an axle, a sudden flash of light, 
the report made by a l^ursting tire, palpitation of 
the heart. These things have no intrinsic inter- 
est; we do not care to sit and contemplate them 
for their own sake. But they may mean some 
danger, they may require some act of adjustment 
on our part, etc. These incentives to attention 
we may describe by the word mechanical. To such 
stimuli we attend only until we have learned their 
significance, have discovered whether or not their 
consequences are to be important. Then we turn 
at once to things w-hich may be in themselves in- 
teresting. Only children and savages are inter- 
ested in these mechanical incentives for their owm 
sake. We shall see later that this type of incen- 
tive is well represented in current devices for ad- 
vertising and selling goods. 

B. In contrast with this group of mechanical 
incentives stands another type of appeal which is 
in and for itself interesting — a baseball game, a 
battleship, an advertising speech by the Mayor, 
a Hecker's food advertisement, the rainbow^ a 
gorgeous sunset, may serve as examples. Ap- 

50 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

peals of this sort we may designate interest in- 
centives. Irrespective of any consequences, either 
immediate or remote, we find these things inter- 
esting, intrinsically interesting. We not only at- 
tend to them initially, but our attention is held 
by them through many consecutive moments or 
hours. And this type of appeal we shall also find 
represented in current appeals employed in the 
business of distributing goods. 

CAUSES OF ATTENTION 

There are four principal ways in which atten- 
tion may be brought about : 

(a) By increased relative intensity of the 
stimulus. 

(b) By the intrinsic interest of the stimulus. 

(c) By accommodation of the sense organs to 
be used, so that the incoming impression 
may be received to best advantage. 

(d) By preperception — anticipatory prepa- 
ration, from within, of the ideational cen- 
ters to be employed when the stimulus 
arrives. 

Attention is often classified as voluntary, in- 
voluntary, and spontaneous. These forms are 

51 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

clearly seen to represent only different combina- 
tions of the four methods just enumerated. Thus 
voluntary attention is brought about by methods 
(c) and (d). Involuntary attention is that pro- 
duced by method (a), and spontaneous attention 
that effected by methods (a) and (b). It is ap- 
parent that advertising can employ only two of 
the four possible methods of attracting attention, 
namely those two methods by which spontaneous 
attention is brought about. It follows, then, that 
these two methods must be used as effectively as 
possible. It is, of course, further true that when 
we come to the second task, that of holding atten- 
tion, we shall see that voluntary attention may 
also come to play an important part. 

EESULTS AND LAWS OF ATTENTION" 

Before further analyzing these methods of in- 
tensity and interest, let us learn what the result 
of attention will be when we have once secured 
it. The results of attention will determine to a 
great degree the nature of our next inquiry: 
''How can an appeal attract attention?" Before 
we turn to advertisements in particular, what are 
the results or laws of attention, in general? 

I. The process attended to becomes clearer and 
more distinct than others. This is well illustrated 

52 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

by attention to the hidden figure in a puzzle-pic- 
ture. Attend to the figure, it looms up clearly, 
while the rest of the picture fades into the obscure 
margin of consciousness. Attend to the back- 
ground, on the other hand, and this in turn be- 
comes sharply defined, while the hidden figure is 
blurred. 

II. The process attended to becomes more in- 
tense, especially if it was originally very faint. 
Attend to a very faint light or a sound — a star or 
the tick of a watch — or attend to a particular in- 
strument in an orchestra. The stimulus attended 
to becomes not only clearer but it seems to be 
louder as well. 

III. The process attended to becomes increased 
in duration, especially when it is otherwise very 
short. Moments of time, if attended to, pass 
slowly. The long drawn out diminuendo of a vio- 
lin may seem continued after the actual vibration 
has ceased, especially if the suggestion is rein- 
forced by continued movement of the bow. The 
headlines which compel strong attention or the 
cuts that attract the eye persist in consciousness 
according to the degree of attention bestowed 
upon them. Because they persist longer they have 
greater opportunity for association with other ex- 
periences, and hence are more likely to be recalled 

53 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

than some other processes attended to less in- 
tently. This result is closely related to the next 
law. 

IV. The process attended to rises more qmcMy 
into consciousness than do other processes enter- 
ing simultaneously. We can illustrate this by the 
'' complication experiment" of the laboratory. If 
in this experiment a sound and flash of light are 
so arranged as to occur at the same moment, they 
will seem not synchronous but successive, the one 
attended to appearing to precede the other. Un- 
der this law we may also put the general fact that 
at a subsequent time, if there is occasion to recall 
the process, the one attended to most strongly 
tends to recur more quickly and easily than 
others. 

The foregoing related laws are both theoretic- 
ally and practically important. From them it fol- 
lows not only that an appeal should be able to 
attract attention, but that, other things being 
equal, it should attract as much attention as pos- 
sible. For the appeal compelling the strongest 
iegree of attention will be clearer, more intense, 
dud more active than that less strongly attended 
to. As we shall see later, the power of a sugges- 
tion depends not only on the fact of attention but 
also on the degree of attention. 

54 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

V. Attention is the basis of every will-act, and 
the only basis. Every idea or impression has its 
inevitable motor issue. Nervous energy, once 
generated, must be liberated, discharged, over an 
outgoing pathway. Just what pathway is taken 
is immaterial so far as the nervous system is con- 
cerned. It follows, then, that the response to the 
stimulus wdiich is strongly attended to drains off 
the energy generated by marginal stimuli, with the 
result that this response is strengthened. This 
is the basis of an act of wdll or choice. It is the 
fundamental principle of response. When two 
processes divide the field of attention between 
them, each tends to set off its appropriate re- 
sponse. The result is two weak responses, or, if 
the two stimuli are antagonistic, no response at 
all. If my attention now shifts from one to the 
other, I vacillate, am weak-willed, undecided. But 
the moment that I attend exclusively to either 
idea, its motor consequences ensue at once, and I 
have responded to the suggestion. I have willed. 
This is the fundamental law of suggestion and 
response. Every idea, if attended to exclusively, 
tends to realize itself in action. We will have this 
principle before us again when we come to the 
third task of the appeal. 

Do not be impatient with this prolonged analy- 
55 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

sis of the attentive state. We are trying to get 
at the very bottom of the principles of appeal and 
response, and this rather abstract examination is 
essential to the more concrete things that are soon 
to follow. To discuss many other extremely in- 
teresting results would be to go too far afield for 
the purposes of this book. But there are two 
more principles that must not be omitted. From 
the practical point of view they are the most im- 
portant of the seven. They cover not so much 
the results of attention as they do the behavior 
of attention itself. 

VI. This Imv is that attention fluctuates, comes 
in beats or pulses ; the state of attention is of short 
duration. Our consciousness cannot remain in- 
tent on one object or idea. It must roam about, 
much like a bird flying from bough to bough. It 
cannot remain on the same bough constantly. It 
must, after a given time, leap over to another 
bough and then return, or else it must shift its 
position on the same bough every so often, chang- 
ing from one foot to another or facing about or 
lighting on various parts of the same perch. 

The length of these waves or pulses of atten- 
tion is usually about four seconds in our experi- 
mental researches, two seconds coming to the crest 
and two seconds dying away. Much work is be- 

56 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

iiig done by modern experimentalists to discover 
the neurological reason for this rhythm of atten- 
tion. It constitutes a fascinating field of modern 
investigation. But, here again, to go farther 
would be to digress. 

I show you here the record of such a laboratory 
experiment, taken by one of my students. 




An Experiment on Attention. The wavy line marks off fifths 
of seconds. When the straight line is on the low level, a faint 
visual stimulus was in the field of attention. The high level 
indicates the disappearance of the stimulus from attention. 



This law of attention will be our chief concern 
when we come to the second talk, that of Holding 
Attention. 

VII. Finally, in this abstract analysis, we must 
include the general law that the range of atten- 
tion is limited. We may distinguish here between 

57 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

the focus of attention, and the margin of atten- 
tion. You will all remember in this connection 
that five acts have long been recognized as the 
artistic limit for a drama, five feet for a line, and 
preferably five lines for a stanza, five chief char- 
acters in a dialogue. And these are all cases 
where one has the s>Tnpathy of the reader from 
the beginning. In framing the artistic solicita- 
tion for his eye, it is better to be on the safe side 
and allow, say, one fact to the focus, one to the 
field, and one to the margin. But it may be said 
here that it is five units that can be compassed in 
a single act of attention. If I expose five or six 
small dots for a fraction of a second you can 
report their number correctly, but more than that 
many you cannot perceive accurately. You can, 
however, see five letters, each composed of dots, 
just as easily, and even five words, if the words 
are familiar enough to be perceived as units. 

These facts have a very practical bearing. They 
mean that the ideal headline should not contain 
over five units. Usually these units will be single 
words. But as a matter of fact a sentence can 
be grasped as a whole providing it can be broken 
into, say, four phrase units of perhaps four words 
each, or, preferably, three. If I say, ''The proper 
lengtli for a comfortable sentence is felt to be 

58 



FIRST TASK: CATCHING THE ATTENTION 

about sixteen words," my sentence is seen to be 
thus constructed. It has four phrase elements of 
three or four words each, and the sentence is 
easily grasped as a wdiole. But if I say, ''By a 
careful experimentally conducted investigation of 
the laws of attention, psychologists have been led 
to conclude that the most favorable sentence 
length for the average reader is, under ordinary 
conditions, approximately sixteen single words," 
you are dismayed by the length and structure of 
the sentence. It falls to pieces, requiring more 
than one effort of attention. We may say, then, 
that nine to sixteen words make a clear and easily 
read sentence. That is, of course, only an ap- 
proximation. The actual number in any given 
case will depend on the ease with which the single 
words group themselves into phrase units. But 
good headlines will seldom be found with more 
than nine and usually not more than five words. 
"We shall have a great deal to say about this law 
of attention when we come to consider the second 
task. 



CHAPTER V 

MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

So much for the state of attention itself. Let 
lis now turn to the concrete ways of bringing it 
about. You will recall that the advertisement can 
only work through spontaneous attention, and 
that this state can be brought about by two means : 
(1) By the relative intensification of the stimuli. 
Under this head comes the group of methods which 
we have designated mechanical devices. (2) By 
the intrinsic interest of the stimulus. This group 
we classify as interest incentives. Naturally and 
inevitably, through the very structure of our ner- 
vous systems, we attend to stimuli of these two 
kinds. The basis for their power over us lies 
either in the physiology of all nerve tissue, in the 
inherited results of remote ancestral experience, 
or in our own peculiar past history and desires 
for the future. 

Of the two groups, the mechanical devices, al- 
though the chief means employed by past and even 
by most contemporary advertising, are the least 

60 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

potent and in many cases are futile, so far as real 
returns are concerned. I have often been asked 
to state what in my opinion would be the next 
advance step in advertising. I should say that 
the most effective change for the better that could 
be made is the change from mechanical devices 
to interest incentives. But the mechanical devices 
are much used at present, and will probably al- 
ways be employed to a greater or less degree ; and 
for certain types of advertising mechanical de- 
vices are effective. The mechanical devices fall 
into six chief classes according as the method used 
is a variation of intensity, magnitude, motion, con- 
trast, surrounding or position. 

1. INTENSITY 

other things being equal, we will, of course, 
attend to the strongest stimulus. We listen to 
the shrillest newsboy, the loudest barker at the 
side show, just as we let the thunder distract 
us from the chirping of crickets. But this is 
not due to genuine interest in the strong stimu- 
lus. A strong stimulus causes nervous shock and 
is likely to constitute or indicate a source of dan- 
ger to the organism. Those of our ancestors who 
failed to notice intense stimuli perished in ava- 
lanches, tornadoes, etc. Only those survived 

61 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

whose nervous systems were sensitive to abrupt 
changes, and they passed their constitution on 
down to us. Besides, a strong* stimulus means 
much physical energy impinging on our sense or- 
gans, and this sets up strong nervous currents 
which force their way inward in spite of our 
wishes. Fortunately, however, advertising has 
but little use for this device. Advertising is 
chiefly a visual matter, still more chiefly a matter 
of printing, and the range of possible intensities 
in printing is very slight. The intense lights of 
an electric sign, the brilliant colors of a billboard 
placard may force us to look in their direction. 
But they may force us just as quickly to look away 
again. They may attract attention, but they lack 
the power to hold it. All advertising that de- 
pends for its success on the mere noise it makes, 
on the sheer intensity of its horn, is likely to find 
the two to be in inverse ratio. Only savages 
and children, as we have said, delight in in- 
tensity of stimulus for its own sake. Savages 
beat their tom-toms and children pound and kick 
from delight in the activity of a sense organ, and 
perhaps also because their undeveloped senses do 
not get the same degree of sensation frofn the 
intense stimulation that we do. 

The rumble of the elevated tr<un never attracts 

62 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

my attention unless it interferes with my pres- 
ent activity, and even then it does not attract but 
repels me. But the plaintive squeal of some old 
woman's hand organ, the whistle of a fraternity 
brother, some curious brogue in the speech of a 
passerby, some comic incident of the street, at- 
tracts me at once in spite of its mildness. A man 
slipped on the icy walk the other day. He made 
no noise, but slipped down softly and flatly. The 
negro garbage collector who happened to be pass- 
ing saw him just as he was clambering to his feet 
again. ''Do it again," shouted the driver of the 
garbage wagon, "I didn't see you that time." 
This trivial incident had greater attention value 
with the driver than did the roar of the traffic 
around him. 

The noisy honk of the automobile does not at- 
tract you but gets you out of the way. The in- 
tense stimulus means danger. The soft siren call 
on the automobile had to be abandoned, not be- 
cause people would not attend to it, but because 
they did not run away from it. If you want to 
appeal to children and to savages, then, you may 
use the intensity device with some degree of ef- 
fectiveness. For civilized people and grown-ups 
the blaring seldom attracts attention beyond it- 
self, 

63 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

2. MAGNITUDE 

Much has been written concerning the rela- 
tive attention value of small and large spaces, 
cards, signs, cuts, type, etc., in advertising, and 
several suggestive attempts have been made to 
study the matter experimentally. The opinion 
of advertising men seems to point to propor- 
tionate increase in values with the amount of 
space used. The use of full-page advertisements 
has increased, as Scott has shown. Thus in 1892 
the Century Magazine contained only 18 per 
cent, full-page advertisements as compared with 
43 per cent, in 1908. There is also a tendency to 
use two page ' ' spreads ' ' more and more. 

Scott tested over 500 people, giving each the 
same magazine {Century), asking them to **look 
it over" in a general way, but not to read 
long articles or poetry. After having examined 
the magazine for 10 minutes, each was asked to 
write out all he remembered of all the advertise- 
ments he had seen. The same investigator also 
made up a magazine by choosing 100 pages of 
varied advertising pages from a large number of 
magazines, so as to get variety of material, size, 
form, type, etc. These pages were then bound 
together along with reading matter and 60 adult§ 

64 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

were asked to ''look through" the magazine, for 
an average time of 10 minutes. Eacli tlien men- 
tioned each advertisement remembered, gave its 
contents, and was then again given the magazine 
and asked to indicate all the pages now recognized 
as having been seen before. 

The results of these experiments were as fol- 
lows : In the number of times the advertisement 
was mentioned from memory, in the number of 
times it was later recognized, and in the number 
of times it conveyed definite information as to the 
general class of goods advertised, the specific 
name or brand of the goods, name and address 
of the firm, price, etc., the rule was general that 
the full page was more than twice as effective as 
the one-half page. The half-page was also more 
than twice as effective as the quarter-page, and 
this in turn more than twice as effective as the 
eighth-page. Scott's general conclusion is: "The 
attention and memory value of an advertisement 
increases as the size of the advertisement in- 
creases, and the increase of value is greater than 
the increase in the amount of space used. ' ' 

But Scott points out the fact that the quality 
of the advertisement, that is its content, is even 
more important than its size. Indeed, it is quite 
probable that the increase in value with increase 

65 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

in space, in these experiments, was chiefly due to 
diiference in the contents of the space. A hirge 
advertisement is likely to be different from a 
small one in things other than mere magnitude. 
The large space permits the use of pictures, of 
suggested aqtion, removes competition by monopo- 
lizing space, and also makes possible greater con- 
ti'ast and clearness. It is probable, then, that the 
increased value of a large space in these experi- 
ments came not from the mere fact of magnitude, 
but from the presence of interest incentives which 
the magnitude makes possible, but of course does 
not necessarily involve. 

When the content of the space is kept constant 
in character and interest there is no evidence that 
the increase in returns is nearly so great as the 
increase in space and cost. Of course, the larger 
advertisement will be more likely to be seen, but 
it must be seen and read twice as much or more 
than this to justify the increase in cost, if a whole 
page is compared with a half page. Time after 
time the results of mail order advertising are said 
to have shown only an increased cost per reply 
when greater space was employed. The writer 
has on hand sets of advertisements in which the 
cliaracter of the content, the medium, and the com- 
modity advertised have all been kept constant and 

m 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

tlio returns nioasured by the number of inquiries 
for booklets, etc. The results from these sets sug- 
gest a more or less definite law of increase under 
such circumstances, namely: the number of in- 
quiries tends to increase as the square root of the 
amount of space used. That is to say, use four 
times the space and you double the returns ; use 
nine times the space and you treble the returns, 
while to quadruple the number of replies would 
require sixteen times the amount of space, other 
factors remaining constant. Some such law of 
increase may, in fact, be supposed to operate in 
the case of all the mechanical incentives. 

This is an interesting point, psychologically, for 
it falls in line with what is known in the labora- 
tory as the psycho-physical law, according to 
which the sensation produced by a stimulus does 
not increase in the same ratio as does the in- 
crease in the objective intensity of the stimulus, 
but much more slowly, approximately as the 
square root of this intensity. We know that, in 
many other fields beyond a certain point this law 
of "diminishing returns" holds — to double the 
amount of coal consumed does not double the 
speed of a boat; nor can twelve laborers produce, 
from a given limited area of land or a given fac- 
tory equipment and floor space, twice the produc- 

67 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



tion of six laborers working under the same con- 
ditions. 

The following series of Graphite advertise- 
ments indicates a similar law. These appeals ap- 



" 


T'HI' confidence' 




assim 


^raplliltf lubricalioo s. 


wmKJkitr 


"OmpbiW as B i,ubn- 
«ant" Sot »9io. 




WriUf i't Ik,* lattH'- 
txlitivn tty HWwrVr 94-/'. 1 




Joseph l*ix(« CruciWc ■ 


L: , 1 


CmiTiKmy, 



Ad. No. 1 — 32 Hepliks. % Page 

peared under the same conditions of commodity 
and medium, and all three rely on the same gen- 
eral type of attention device. No. 1, an adver- 
tisement occupying one-eighth of a page, brought 



New Edition Is Out 

Ml Graphite Jk 

as a Lubricant ''''* 
for 1910 

THISeditton is just off 
Ihe press — 64 pages of 
meaty inionnation on 
the science and practice of 
graphite lubrication Plain, 
sensible information tiiat 
you can apply in youe 
everyday work. Big. read- 
able type, liberal margins. 
^^KT B<^ amon^ the first lor 
g 5 jet this edition! 

c a 

ph Dixon Crucible Co. I 

Jen^y City. N J. | 

Ad. No. 2 — 32 Replies. V^ Page 

32 replies. Several others of the same size and 
type brought from 21 to 42 replies. No. 2 pre- 
sents the same appeal, with perhaps a somewhat 

68 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

better layout, so far as initial attention value is 
concerned, and it occupied one-quarter page, twice 
the amount of space occupied by No. 1. But it 



Write For The Newest Edition 

"Graphite as a Lubricant" 



For 1910 



:nd best authoriuttiv' 



just ad the press with all th« 
information on gwfhile lubricaiion. 

This might well be called the power house editi 
it dealt alrnpst exclusively with powet hous< piobli 
ID lubrication. 

"Graphite as a Lubricant," tith edition, 
gives the le&ults ol exp*rimenls of the haest 
scientifiq authorities on iuhricatioo. In addition. 
il reports practical eipenences with the use 
of grgpfate by the best brains in the piatti- 
cal fiflds of ei^^m^iwr. 




GRAPHITE 
LUBRICANT 



of "Graphite 
as a Lubricant." 

U you have had any of the 
previous editions of ttiis slandafd 
Dixon worit. or if you are a user of 
gtapliitt; io iny form, you will no 
doubl send for this oeweit issue. But 
if you have no inteiest in_the sutiect 
now, it it not unfikcly that some day 
you wilf find it desirable ot necetsaiy 
to Ijc posted on giaphtte luhrication. 



Better write right away for 
Free Copy 'U-B. 



Joseph Dixon Crucible 
Cojmpany 

Jersey City, N. J. 



Ad. No. 3 — 75 Replies. Full Page 



brought only the same number of replies. No. 3, 
very similar to both 1 and 2 in general content, 
but occupying a full page, brought only 75 re- 
plies. That is to say, it is four times the size of 

69 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

No. 1, but brought only twice as many replies, as 
we should expect, under the square root law. 

Of course if the style of the appeal is changed, 
these results will vary correspondingly. Thus No. 
4, which introduces an interest incentive (picture, 
suggested activity) is no larger than No. 2, but 




This Is It-U"" Edition 



', turuu of 



"Oraphilf as » Lubricant.' ivit cdilion 

uHs bo« and vriiy gn.|.hiK liiLn,— —- ' 

exiilaiiu the acuon ol Jifl'—— ■ 

g»(>hjtc. 

II |^«s result. flC sdoilHie i«t»« hitta.1 



Joseph Dixon Crucible Co. 



Ad. No. 4—186 Keplies. % Page 



brought 186 replies. This last appeal will be re- 
ferred to again under the section on suggested 
activity. 

Miinsterberg has recently reported experi- 
ments designed to measure the value of large 
spaces, appearing once, as compared with that of 
smaller spaces appearing often enough to make 
the final space occupied equal in both cases. 
Based on the total attention and memory values, 
the relative values are as follows: 

70 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

Full page, appearing once 33 

Half page, appearing twice 30 

Quarter page, appearing four times 49 

Eighth page, eight times 44 

Twelfth page, twelve times 47 

On the basis of the chances of the advertise- 
ment being included among the first 10 remem- 
bered, in time, the values are: 

Full page, appearing once 0.5 

Half page, appearing twice 1.2 

Quarter page, four times 2.9 

Eighth page, eight times 2.3 

Twelfth page, twelve times 2.4 

In general, that is to say, the small spaces re- 
peated are more effective than the large space 
appearing but once. Of course, these values are 
not entirely dependent on the difference in space, 
but also upon the factor of repetition, which is in 
itself a form of mechanical device, if the appeal 
is attended to when repeated. 

Further information bearing in this same gen- 
eral direction is afforded by several experiments 
conducted by Dr. E. K. Strong, Jr., Research Fel- 
low in Columbia University, for the New York 
Advertising Men 's League and the National Asso- 
ciation of Advertising Managers. Perhaps tli(? 
only argument in favor of magnitude is that ad- 
vanced by some practical advertising men, to the 
effect that the additional prestige and suggestion 

71 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

of prosperity conveyed by the large space em- 
ployed tend to create a favorable impression in 
the mind of the reader. 

So far as the experience of the psychologist 
goes, mere magnitude possesses the same defect 
as does mere intensity, and to even greater de- 
gree. The large object does attract initial atten- 
tion. Unusually large things possess a certain 
importance in the life of any animal; they are 
likely to be dangerous, unmanageable, to be avoid- 
ed, etc. Therefore, the first appearance of a mam- 
moth billboard or electric sign will attract atten- 
tion. But as soon as the real character, the harm- 
lessness, of the thing is learned, it will be passed 
by unnoticed, just as are the Singer building, the 
Metropolitan tower, the Imperator, and the 
enormous signs and displays of the Great White 
Way. Magnitude in advertising is probably of 
real value only in so far as it makes possible cer- 
tain more genuine interest appeals. 

The question of size of type has also received 
frequent discussion and investigation. Gale found 
progressive increase in attention value with in- 
crease in size of type from two to six millimeters. 
He gives the table on page 73; 

Scott studied two kinds of type with the same 
body, but one of which had light and the other 

72 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

heavy face. What he tried to discover was the 
time required to read these two kinds of type and 
the number of errors made in such reading. For 
the light faced type the total time of six observers 
was 147 minutes, the number of errors 132. For 
the heavy face, the total time was 129 minutes, the 

TABLE IV 



Height Type 


Relative Legibility, Per Cent. 


Men 


Women 


Average 


2 mm 


8.7 
20.2 
27.7 
43.0 


11.6 

15.8 
27.5 
45.0 


10.1 


4 mm 

5 mm 

6 mm 


18.0 
27.6 
44.0 



errors 91. Such legibility tests should be carried 
further. But it must not be supposed that legi- 
bility and attention value are the same thing. It 
is in general true that the more easily type can 
be read the more agreeably will the people read 
it. But they will not be likely to read it just be- 
cause it is legible. Under a given set of con- 
ditions a certain type size, a certain spacing and 
massing will be most favorable. But adequate 
tests of this matter, from the practical point of 
view, have not been made. More will be said on 
this topic in another connection. 

The writer would, then, be inclined to stress the 
73 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

futility of mere size as an effective advertising 
device. On psychological grounds the small ad- 
vertisement with intrinsic interest of some sort 
or other — color, cut, action suggested, comic, ap- 
peal to special instinct or feeling or value, will be 
more effective, and less exiDensive as well. 

3. MOTION 

The • third mechanical incentive to attention 
is that of a moving stimulus. An object in mo- 
tion has much higher attention value than a sta- 
tionary thing. This is true far down in the ani- 
mal scale. One may approach very close to a 
wild animal so long as one's accessory movements 
are inhibited. A squirrel may perch on my hand, 
but the slightest movement of a near-by object 
suffices to send him scurrying. Hold your finger, 
for instance, in the edge of your field of vision; 
you are not able to see it, but wriggle it a little 
and its image becomes at once distinct. Psycho- 
logically there are two reasons why this should be 
true. One is an interest reason, viz., the fact that 
moving objects are more likely to contain in them 
possibilities of good or evil. Hence from earliest 
experience moving objects have become of un- 
usual interest and significance for us. The second 
reason is a mechanical one, viz., that sensation is 

74 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

only consciousness of change. We become rap- 
idly adapted to a constant stimulus so that we fail 
to notice the weight of our hats, the temperature 
of the room we arc in, the odors of the subway. 
But the moment a change occurs it is detected, 
because it involves fresh and unfatigued sensitive 
surface. So keen is our sense of movement that 
we can detect the motion of a point on the skin 
long before we can tell the direction in which it is 
traveling. This is the basis for the high atten- 
tion value of rotating barber signs and display 
shelves, shifting bulletin boards, moving pictures, 
flash lights, moving frames in shoe and hat stores. 
The Old Dutch Cleanser in Harlem, and the 
Heatherbloom petticoat sign are instances of the 
initial value of movement, as are running lights 
and serpentines. The use of movement is cer- 
tainly one of the most effective of the mechanical 
incentives, but it has in common with all mechan- 
ical devices the fault of failing to hold attention 
when once it is caught, and the further defect of 
rapidly undergoing adaptation. You must not 
confuse the actual use of movement with the 
somewhat related principle of suggested action. 
Nothing has higher attention value than the repro- 
duction of a fellow creature in action. But this 
is much different from the crude use of mere mo- 

75 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

tion of an inanimate object. It is strictly an in- 
terest incentive and will be considered fully under 
that heading. 

4. CONTRAST 

The next important mechanical device is that 
of contrast. Because sensation is the conscious- 
ness of change, any great or striking differ- 
ence in the intensity, size, color or character of 
the stimulus produces an unusually vivid con- 
sciousness. The gradual appearance of an elec- 
tric sign would pass unnoticed, but the alternation 
of its sudden illumination and disappearance at 
once attracts the attention. In the same way a 
striking difference between foreground and back- 
ground has strong attention value, and black on 
white, blue on yellow^, red on green are the most 
striking combinations of color, because the two 
members of each pair are contrasting in color. A 
small man and a large woman, a Shetland pony 
harnessed alongside a draught horse, w^ould have 
a similar attention value. So, in looking through 
the advertisements of a magazine, any sharp de- 
parture from the usual appearance of the pages 
in size, form, color, style of type, content, size of 
type, kind of cut, possesses strong attention 
value. And in our day of manifold advertisement 

76 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

pages tins is an important item. The defect of the 
contrast incentive again is that of all the mechani- 
cal devices. To be eifective it mnst be reinforced 
by an interest incentive, or else it fails to hold the 
attention it has gained by sheer force. 



t;lXCTROTYPERS 




Advcrti>^mg Plate>9 Our 
Specialix^ 

lOO NORTH rirniAVCNUE 

C/\lCAGO 



White on Black 

The writer has frequently been asked why black 
on white attracts more attention than white on 
black. The contrast is apparently the same here, 
and the principle of irradiation would lead us to 
expect just the opposite result. The reason is 

77 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

probably that we habitually associate dark 
spaces with objects and lirjlit spaces with back- 
ground — with air, opening, sky, water, etc. It is 
always the positive, active features of our envir- 
onment, the objects, to which we give special no- 
tice. Backgrounds have no particular importance 
except as they set off objects. So when black let- 
ters are seen on white the letters attract atten- 
tion. But when white letters appear on black, 
they seem to be merely holes in the object, which 
is now the dark part. Hence we do not attend to 
the form, etc., of the letters. So far as acuity and 
legibility go there is no difference between the 
two arrangements. 

5. ISOLATION 

Closely allied to contrast is another factor 
— the absence of counter attraction. Conscious- 
ness is never empty. If it were it would not be 
consciousness. This means that we must attend 
to something, and, for the most part, to some- 
thing in the outside world. In the absence of 
counter attraction consciousness fixates the one 
thing in the field. The value of monopolizing the 
whole space, of eliminating competing appeals by 
employing plenty of white space, etc., has its basis 

78 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

here. Little more need be said. The difficulties 
with this device are : ( 1 ) that we quickly become 
adapted to its artificial character, (2) that there 




Attention Value of Isolation 



is always more than one field open to conscious- 
ness, and it is necessary to make the page, wall, 
side of the street, etc., have some intrinsic inter- 
est before the absence of counter attraction in 
that particular field has a chance to work. 

79 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



.^^^ 



t 



ir, 



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Also in twenty-five cent tins 

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goodness enclosed in a shell of rich chocolate. 



Absence of Counter Attraction 



6. POSITION 

The final mechanical device is that of posi- 
tion. Because of certain habitual fixation tenden- 
cies of the eyes in reading and observing, certain 
positions on a printed page, a bulletin board, etc., 
have greater attention value than others. Thus, in 

80 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

Gale's experiments the left side of the page was 
found to have greater attention value than the 
right. This result would follow from the tendency 
to begin on the left and read to the right, so that in 
a quick exposure such as Gale gave the left side 
would have the advantage, and especially so since 
he studied the page when it was taken out of the 
magazine and presented as a flat surface. Starch 
experimented with nonsense syllables placed in 
different positions in a pamphlet of twelve 
pages. On the third and eighth pages the same 
syllable occurred. Fifty people looked through 
the pamphlet and then wrote out all the syllables 
remembered. Of those occurring on the left side 
of the page 44 per cent, were recalled, while 56 
per cent, of those on the right were recalled. This 
contradicts Gale's results. 

The experiments are complicated by the fact 
that in reading the eye has a second tendency to 
fixate the object in each hand — the part of the 
page held at normal reading distance. This will 
be in magazines, and especially in newspapers, 
the two outside columns, one of which is on the 
right, the other on the left. Starch's experiments 
further erred in using such unusual and artificial 
things as nonsense syllables which vary greatly 
among themselves in attention and memory 

81 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

value. From general knowledge of the laws of 
reading and eye movement, however, I will ven- 
ture to prophesy that in flat surfaces the left side 
will be found to be most favorable, in newspaper 
pages the outside spaces, that is, the left on the 
left-hand pages and the right on the right-hand 
pages, while on magazine pages there will be lit- 
tle difference found. 

A second question relating to position concerns 
the relative value of the top and bottom of the 
page. Psychologically there are two factors that 
work here: 

(1) We tend to find meaning in the top of 
things, the faces of our fellow men, the branches 
of trees, etc. We begin to read at the top of 
the page. Further, in reading, experiments show 
that the upper part of the printed letters is 
more significant than the lower part and that the 
eye does not run along the middle of a printed or 
written line but rather along a line between the 
middle of the small letters and the tops of the 
high ones, that is, a line somewhat above the cen- 
ter. 

(2) In fixating a general object, especially a 
work of art, a picture, wall, etc., there is a con- 
stant tendency to fixate the center. This gives us 

82 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

the best view of the object as a whole and also 
enables us to perceive its unitary structure, bal- 
ance, proportion, etc. 

Here are, then, two tendencies. The result is a 
compromise, in which the space between top and 
center has greatest advantage. Experiment con- 
firms this result. Thus, in Starch's tests, the 
value of the upper half of pages was 61 per cent., 
as against 39 per cent, for the lower half, when 
the page was divided into quarters. When it was 
divided only into halves the same law held, the 
values being, upper half 54 per cent., lower half 
46 per cent. Gale, studying flat surfaces, divided 
into horizontal quarters, found that the quarter 
just above the middle was strongest, and the bot- 
tom weakest. 

Finally, in this problem of position there is the 
question of preferred pages. The fact of pre- 
ferred pages is recognized by magazine rates, but 
the policies here are quite discordant, some mak- 
ing great and some relatively small extra charge 
for preferred positions. Starch studied this prob- 
lem using nonsense syllables with his twelve-page 
pamphlet. He found the following results : 

DATA 

Total number recalled 261 

Average number on outside cover recalled 34 

Average number on inside cover recalled 26 

Average number on other pages recalled 17 

83 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Tliis indicates the outer cover to be twice as ef- 
fective, and the inside cover to be half again as 
effective as the ordinary inside pages. 

Using real advertisements instead of the syl- 
lables, the results were: preferred positions, 
average 19.2 times ; non-preferred positions, aver- 
age 6.5 times. But these figures are highly unre- 
liable because the advertisements themselves dif- 
fer greatly in attention value, familiarity and in- 
terest. Furthermore, all the inside pages are 
lumped together, with no attempt to discriminate 
between, say, page 3 and page 7, or between back 
half and front half of the pamphlet. Moreover, 
the value of other preferred pages, such as those 
next to the reading matter, is not considered. 

The following figures resulted from a prelim- 
inary experiment performed by one of my stu- 
dents. A magazine containing 10 pages of adver- 
tising matter in the front section and 10 in the 
back section was chosen. A set of trade marks 
(geometrical forms of solid black and of approxi- 
mately the same area) was affixed, one to the cen- 
ter of each of these pages. The relative attention 
value of each of these forms, when all were seen 
under the same conditions, was determined by a 
careful experiment with 25 people. After this 
had been done it was possible to allow for the dif- 

84 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

ferences in attention value, due not to the page it- 
self, but to the form whicli it happened to carry. 
Thus, if the form on page 3 was found to have 
2.5 times the attention value of the form on page 
7, the results from page 7, when multiplied by 
2.5, might be supposed to be absolutely compara- 
ble with the results from page 3, and any differ- 
ence between the two, after this compensation 
had been made, would reflect nothing but the rela- 
tive attention value of the two pages themselves. 
The experiment thus attempted to conform to the 
first requirement of a scientific experiment (curi- 
ously neglected in reported tests of advertising 
values), namely, that the only variable factor be 
that which is being specifically investigated, or 
that, if other factors vary, this variation be also 
measured and reckoned with in the valuation of 
the final returns. The set of trade marks, with 
their relative attention value, will appear in an- 
other connection. 

A group of 25 subjects was then allowed to 
look through the magazine for a limited time, 
without being told the purpose of the experiment. 
Each subject took the magazine from a shelf of 
books, and looked through it in his own way. He 
was later presented with a complete set of 50 
geometrical forms and requested to pick out the 

85 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

20 forms that he had previously seen in the maga- 
zine. 

The results were then transformed into com- 
parable quantities, in the manner just described, 
and in this way the relative attention value of the 
various pages, when the magazine was handled in 
this way, was determined. The following table 
resulted : 

TABLE V 



Front Section 


Value in 
Per Cent. 


Back Section 


Value in 
Per Cent. 


Page 

1 


34.4 

44.2 
38.0 
43.9 
39.1 
69.0 


Page 

11 


48.6 


2 or 3 


12 or 13 

14 or 15 

16 or 17 

18 or 19 

20 


21.5 


4 or 5 


31.5 


6 or 7 


30.4 


8 or 9 


32.4 


10 


20.0 









Average of front section, 43 . 4; average of back section, 30.0. 

Several facts are clearly evident here : 

1. The value of the front section is almost 
50 per cent, better than that of the back 
section. 

2. The best page of all is the page next to the 
reading matter in front (page 10, 69 per 
cent.). The next best is the page next to 
the reading matter behind (page 11, 48.6 
per cent.). 

86 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

3. The front cover (page 1) and the back 
cover (page 20) turn out to be the poorest 
pages of the whole twenty. 

4. Aside from the front cover and the page 
next the reading matter, all the front 
pages are of about equal value, when the 
section is limited to 10 pages. 

5. Aside from the back cover and the page 
next to the reading matter, all the back 
pages are of about equal value. 

Here are a number of experimental facts that 
are in striking contrast with the common theories 
of preferred position. To be sure, the results can- 
not, without further verification, be transferred 
to conditions other than those in which the ex- 
periment was performed. But other tests seem 
to indicate that all the rules which hold in this 
experiment also hold when the sections are much 
larger, when actual advertisements are consid- 
ered instead of geometrical forms, and when the 
magazine is taken home and read in the ordinary 
way. 

The following curves give the results of an 
elaborate experiment performed by Dr. Strong, 
for the purpose of determining the relative value 
of preferred pages in a larger magazine than the 

87 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

small one employed in the case of the experiments 
I have just described. This experiment con- 
formed even more closely to the conditions of 
actual reading habits. The procedure is described 



































tiC-o/./ 




■'""<' 


; /Peatfihq /fa/^er 


'' 








Bacf 


Ad^rr 


ft4t/tf 


^ec//an 






> 




































\ 
































\ 
































\ 
































\ 






% 






















/ 




v 




/ 


% 


1 




















/ 










J 






















/ 










■t 


^ 





















J 




1 






11^ 


( 




















1 




?1 






5I 


i 




















f 




































' 






^.^^.^i^. ^ 




' 




i 


7 


1 


* 


1 


UO iJiiJ fJO 



Results of One of Dr. Strong's Tests on Attention Value 
OF Different Advertising Pages in Everybody's Magazine. 
The figures at the left represent the percentage of 137 women 
who noticed the advertisement in the various pages. The fig- 
ures across the bottom indicate the number of the page in the 
advertising sections. The advertisements on the covers were 
not considered. For example, the advertisement on the page 
opposite the second cover was noticed by 1014% of the women 
tested, the advertisement on the page just preceding reading 
matter by 6%% of the women, the advertisement on the page 
.■just after reading matter by 9%% of the women, and the 
advertisement on the last page opposite the third cover by 
7% of the women. Contrasted with these preferred pages we 
find but 2%% of the women noticing advertisements in the 
neighborhood of page 88 — the center of the back advertising 
section. 

by Strong as follows: ''A professor assigned his 
class as necessary reading an article in the Sep- 
tember issue of Everybody's Magazine. Each 
member of the class was supplied with a copy of 



MECHANICAL INCENTIVES 

the magazine, and was allowed to keep it one 
week, after which time it was to be returned to 
the class room. Each person was then given an 
envelope containing all the full-page advertise- 
ments that had appeared in the issue and a good 
number of others from another issue. They were 
requested to look through these and select those 
they remembered as having been in the magazine. 
One hundred and thirty-seven people were thus 
tested, ranging in age from 18 to 50. A number 
were married, and all were in the Domestic Sci- 
ence Department of Teachers College, and espe- 
cially interested in problems of the household. 
Many are right now the buyers for homes, and 
most of the remainder are qualifying to become 
so in the near future." These results are seen to 
confirm all the generalizations based on the ear- 
lier experiment, except that, because of the length 
of time which the magazine was used, the cover 
pages came to have higher value than was ac- 
corded them in the earlier tests. 

This completes our study of the mechanical in- 
centives, their characteristics, laws, and relative 
values. In general we may say that these in- 
centives are crude and unsatisfactory. After hav- 
ing discussed the interest incentives in a similar 
way, I shall give an account of an interesting 

89 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

demonstration and proof of the inferior value of 
the mechanical group. The essential thing about 
a successful appeal is that it shall be able to sus- 
tain the attention it has once caught, and the me- 
chanical incentives in themselves fail to do this. 
Only attention based on interest is likely to be 
held long enough for the suggested idea to realize 
itself in action. The interest incentives, then, are 
the effective ones. A study of these factors we 
are to take up in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER VI 

INTEREST INCENTIVES 

Interest incentives fall under the headings of 
eight chief principles. These are the most effec- 
tive devices for catching the attention in a per- 
manent way. Their chief strength is derived 
from the fact that the feeling of interest, which is 
essential to sustained attention, is the very basis 
of their initial attraction value. These eight in- 
centives are the appeal through: 

1. Novelty: bizarre effects, unusual devices 
and statements. 

2. Color: brightness, tone and harmony. 

3. Illustration: cuts, photographs, sketches. 

4. Action: suggested activity on the part of 
persons or things. 

5. The comic : pictorial and verbal humor. 

6. Feeling tone: pleasantness, excitement, 
strain and their opposites. 

7. Instinctive response,: any appeal to a fun- 
damental instinct. 

91 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

8. Effective conceptions: appeal to estab- 
lished habits and ideals. 



1. NOVELTY 

The basis of the value of novelty as an in- 
centive is twofold. Recall the extreme impor- 
tance, in the lives of our ancestors and in our 
ov/n experience, of unusual objects, new situa- 
tions, unaccustomed stimuli. The organism is 
perfectly adapted to familiar objects, but strange 
ones can only set up disturbed or random re- 
sponses, and hence cause the feeling of shock. We 
are startled by the novel. It is full of interest to 
us both on account of the danger it may contain 
and on account of the good it may afford. Hence 
we always attend to it closely when we discover 
it. This incentive is closely related to the instinct 
of curiosity. Curiosity is merely the name for 
our interest in the unknown or unfamiliar. Throw 
a strange object into the field and the horses and 
cattle will circle around it, sniffing, poking and 
snorting until they seem to have discovered all 
the possible sources of activity to be anticipated 
from the object. If tlie object shows no new 
traits, but behaves just as tlie old familiar ob- 
jects in the pasture, the cattle soon scatter away 

93 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

and are hereafter unconcerned about it. But if it 
shows any new or unwonted characteristics, the 



FREEOFFE 




Novelty as an Effective Attention Device. This also illus- 
trates an important principle of Perception, viz., that one 
' ' sees ' ' not so much what the sense organ affords but rather 
what the present stimulus has been learned to mean. Sensa- 
tion is supplemented by perception. In the above picture only- 
parts of the objects arc given in sensation, but the objects are 
nevertheless perceived as wholes. 

animals are interested in it for days and may be 
observed constantly examining it. The same is 
true of a child with a new toy. 

Herein lies the strong attention value of all de- 
vices designed to arouse curiosity — bizarre fig- 
ures, cuts, shapes, grotesque faces, novel forms 
and arrangements, new type faces, curious spell- 

93 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

iiig, unusual location or positions, catchy names, 
trade marks, unfamiliar media, such as kites, sky- 
rockets, balloons, curious street walkers, window 
exhibitions, prize packages, lotteries, prizes, puz- 
zles, contests, continued stories, etc. Churches 




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Every dollar of the $35. 
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If you're tired of conven- 
tional styles and colors come 
and see these quaint patterns 
and tones— shape and cut 
equally new. 

For the conservative cus- 
tomer--everything dignified. 

Prices from $15 to $40. 

New Neckwear to har- 
monize with the color of the 
overcoat. 




0( Uie three leading New York 
and LoDdOQ overcoats tor the 
Fall this cut gives a geaeral idea- 
to get the exact idea come id 
and try *cm on. 

Certainly some of these coats 
are extreme—very ultra radical-* 
plus, and let it go at that. 

They are only for those who 
appreciate the very newest 
fashion. 

For the man of quiet taste 
everything io correct conserva- 
tive lines. 

Overcoats $— to $-- 

Suits S-- to S" 

Our New York Resident Buyer 
sent in a few new and odd Persian 
designs in necitwear. 



The Conventional 



have frequently carried on advertising campaigns 
based on the novelty incentive, introducing un- 
heard-of specialties and stunts into the service. 
Newspapers, politicians, purveyors of foodstuffs, 
publishers, clothiers, dealers in every commodity 
except perhaps large staple products, machinery, 

94 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

etc., use this incentive to advantage. The element 
of novelty attracts the attention initially, and, if 
the thing is sufficiently curious, the observer is 
likely to keep his attention fixed until the adver- 
tisement has been thoroughly digested. 




EXTREMES MEET. 

•Its only att /rirf»..f type c] peffU 



This winter we've carried 
out the ideas expressed by 
the"Clothierand Furnisher" 



Our suits and overcoats 
while embodying all the 
novel features in cut and 
fabric are in the com- 
mon-sense, becoming, fash- 
ionable class. 

Suits $15 to $40. 

Ovetcoats $15. to $45. 




It's time to turn those 
negligee shirts out to grass. 

October is the time for the 
stiff bosom shirt to be firm 
in its demands on your atten- 
tion. We have 'em in short 
bosoms, so now all the old 
discomforts are avoided. 
Try 'em. 

Prices." 

Unique designs in new 
fall neckwear. 

gpecial display now. 



The Novel 



If possible, the novelty should be intrinsic, not 
simply obtruded as an attention device. In the 
illustrations given, this latter situation is very 
likely to be the case. A good example of effective 
and intrinsic novelty is the assertion made by the 
advertisements of 3-in-l Oil: "Men shave with 

95 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

it. ' ' The Brownies, Gold Dust Twins, Sunny Jim, 
the Herpicide cards, etc., may be cited as attempts 
to employ the novelty device for purposes of at- 
tention. 

The chief danger in using the novelty incentive 
is, of course, that of emphasizing the novelty 
rather than the product. 

2. COLOR 

The use of color for advertising purposes de- 
pends chiefly on the strong and lasting inter- 
est that all living beings have in color. The 
lower animals develop gorgeous plumage dur- 
ing the mating season, when the attention re- 
ceived is a chief item in the life of an individual. 
The savage will barter his weapons and choice 
possessions for bright red blankets or a chain of 
tinted beads. The most civilized of us loves to 
adorn himself with modulated hues and harmoni- 
ous color schemes. Moreover, colors differ 
greatly in their influence. Far down in the scale 
of living things can be seen color preferences 
more or less physiological in kind. Microscopic 
animals are attracted by some colors, repelled by 
others. Bulls and frogs, with their well-known 
reaction to reds, illustrate the point. 

The red-yellow end of the spectrum, generally 
96 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

speaking, is warm and active. It is stimulating, 
exciting, sometimes irritating. The green-blue 
end, on the other hand, is cold and passive. Its 
action is in general depressing, quieting. To 
''have the blues" is a popular expression suggest- 



9 
















__ 





J 




^^-^ 


^ 


■^z^=^=^ 


=^:-= 


— --- 


.. .— 


— . 










"' 














r 




MCI 


ER-CANl 




ecuc 



Curves Showing Visual Acuity with Lights of Different 
Colors. These curves are taken from an important study of 
"Visual Acuity with Lights of Different Colors and Intensi- 
ties, ' ' by Dr. D. Edgar Rice, of the Department of Science 
and Technology of Pratt Institute. Dr. Rice remarks, "As to 
the effect of different colors upon acuity ... it is quite 
clear that whatever differences exist are in favor of the colors 
at the red end of the spectrum. . . . The red and the white 
illuminations yield approximately equal acuity, while both are 
considerably higher than the green. The acuity with the blue 
illumination is the lowest. ' ' 

ing this relation. This is more than a question of 
imagination and sentiment. It is a demonstrable 
physiological and psychological fact that the red 
end is dynamogenic in its influence, that is, that 
it increases and reinforces activities going on in 
the system, while the blue end inhibits. The ac- 
companying diagram gives a set of curves show- 
ing the relative legibility of type under the same 

97 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

intensity of illumination by different colors. Col- 
ors, then, if used discreetly or harmoniously, at- 
tract the eye, and, what is equally important, hold 
it. We do not tire of agreeable color combina- 
tions. We revel in them, contemplate them again 
and again, look for them on other occasions and 
point them out to our friends. But the colors 
must be properly employed or they may not only 
fail to hold the eye, but may actually repel it. 

A significant fact is that of preferred colors. 
Elaborate statistical studies on men and women 
students in New York, Minnesota, and England 
disclose certain interesting differences in color 
preference. There is, of course, a considerable 
range of individual differences, and the results 
would be greatly modified by changes in the use to 
which the color might be put. Comparison of the 
different investigations is so interesting that I 
give here a summary, prepared by one of my stu- 
dents, of the principal results of several of them. 

1. Grant Allen studied the color preferences 
shown by savages, securing the assistance 
of missionaries in various lands. He gives 
the following order as the result of these 
inquiries : 

98 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

1. Red 

2. Yellow 

3. Orange 

4. Blue 

5. Green 

2. Baldwin studied the color preferences 
shown by a young baby, on the basis of the 
color reached for when variously colored 
papers were placed before it. He gives 
the following order of preferences : 

1. Red 

2. Blue 

3. White 

4. Green 

5. Brown 

3. Winch investigated color preferences of 
2,000 school children in London, with the 
following order resulting, for both boys 
and girls : 

1. Blue 

2. Red 

3. Yellow, falling lower with in- 
creased age and intelligence 

4. Green, rising higher with in- 
creased age and intelligence 

99 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

5. White 
G. Black 

4. Gordon, wdth only a few subjects, studied 
the influence of background, securing the 
following orders : 



On Black 


On White 


1. Red 


1. Blue 


2. Yellow 


2. Red 


3. Green 


3. Green 


4. Blue 


4. Yellow 



5. Studies of students in Vassar College 
yield the following order of preference : 

1. Blue 

2. Red 

3. Green 

4. Yellow and Orange 

6. Wissler, from his study of Columbia men 
and women students, deduces the following 
table. His results show that yellow was 
preferred more by the younger students 
than by the older. With age, he concludes, 
the preferred color passes on dowTi toward 
the violet end of the spectrum. Combin- 
ing this result with those shown in his 
table, we might conclude that, in so far as 

100 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

the data are reliable, the younger the per- 
son the nearer the red end of the spectrum 
would be his or her favorite color, and 
also that children and women would prefer 
reds, while men and older women would 
show greater fondness for blues. 







TABLE VI 








(Wissler's Table) 






Percentage 


Percentage 


Percentage 


Percentage 


Color 


of Men 


of Men 


of Women 


of Women 


Who 


Who 


Who 


Who 




Like It 


Dislike It 


Like It 


Dislike It 


Red 


22 


7 


42 


8 


Orange .... 


5 


25 


8 


31 


Yellow.... 


2 


32 


5 


8 


Green 


7 


15 


9 


21 


Blue 


42 


12 


9 


23 


Violet 


19 


8 


19 


9 


White 


3 


1 


8 






Taking these studies as a group, the following 
points are to be noted. The reds and blues stand 
high for educated people, the orange and yellow 
standing low. For children and savages just the 
reverse is the case. Yellow falls in the develop- 
ment of the race and also in the development of 
the individual. No very striking sex ditferences 
for order are shown, but the figures show consid- 
erable differences for amount. It is a further 

101 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

general i)riiiciple that the most saturated colors 
are preferred. 

Besides the strong attention value of colors, 
there are certain other advantages in its use 
which might as well be briefly enumerated while 
we are on the topic. 

1. The use of color enables the adequate repre- 
sentation of the texture, quality, fabric, grain, 
pattern and hue of the article with less strain on 
the imagination. 

2. It conveys a precise idea — yellow as a word 
may mean anything between red and blue, in- 
numerable shades and tints of orange, yellow and 
yellowish green. 

3. It enables the recognition of packages and 
articles much better than does a simple name or 
trade mark. The National Biscuit Company pack- 
ages are good illustrations of this fact. 

The value of color is illustrated by comparative 
tests carried on by mail-order houses in Chicago. 
These tests show that a cut in color often sells as 
high as 15 times as much as does a plain black 
and white cut of the same article. These houses 
are using more and more color in their catalogues 
in spite of the extra cost. 

Another important fact about color which also 
greatly enhances its attention value is that a sign 

102 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

or color scheme wliicli is really flat may be made 
to look solid, to have depth, to be extended in 
three dimensions instead of two, by the proper 
nse of color. 

Color and third dimension. — The third dimen- 
sion can be suggested without the aid of perspec- 
tive drawing, by simple color quality differences, 
in two ways. 

1. By appropriate selection of brightness 
values. Brightness is easily taken to mean near- 
ness, while relative dullness suggests distance. 
When, in the laboratory, the illumination of ob- 
jects is increased or diminished, observers fre- 
quently suppose the object to be approaching or 
receding, although it has remained stationary 
throughout. 

2. But the most important, practical and strik- 
ing result is that secured by a proper selection 
of differences in hues. The red, warm end of the 
spectrum seems closer to us than the blue end 
when both really are located at the same distance. 
In fact, the spectral series shows an increasing 
suggestion of distance as we go from red and 
orange through yellow and green to blue and vio- 
let. 

The ether waves causing the different colors 
are refracted by the eye in different degrees. Red 

103 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

is bent least of all, yellow a little more, green still 
more, and blue most of all. This is the reason 
that a prism can break up a beam of white light 
into the colors of the rainbow. The waves pro- 
ducing the different hues emerge from the prism 
at different angles, so that the separate colors 
can be thrown upon a screen or upon the retina 
in the form known as the spectrum. 

The following figure represents this fact: 




Chromatic Aberration in the Human Eye. By way of explain- 
ing why blue and green objects seem farther away than do red 
and yellow objects. This principle can be used to advantage 
in constructing electric signs. Because of their apparent near- 
ness the red and yellow lights stand out more prominently than 
the green and blue lights. (See text for explanation.) 

Suppose, now, that the lens in the eye is ad- 
justed so that the blue rays come to a focus on 
the retina at B and, therefore, give a clear image 
of the object from which they come. The red 
rays do not focus until R, which is some distance 
behind the retina. In order to get a clear picture 
of the red object, the lens must bulge out, becom- 

104 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

ing more convex, hence bending each ray of light 
correspondingly more so that the red rays focus 
sooner than before, until, in fact, they meet at X 
on the retina. 

But we also bulge out this lens in order to get 
a clear image of a near object when we have been 
looking at a more distant one. In this way bulg- 
ing the lens comes to mean for us a near object. 
And when we bulge the lens for a clear image of 
the red rays we naturally infer their source 
to be nearer. And, since we flatten the lens both 
for a clear picture of a distant object and for a 
sharp image from the blue rays, we suppose the 
blue object to be far away; we confuse blueness 
with distance. 

We shall later see the appropriateness of blue 
for mural decorations when the suggestion of dis- 
tance is desirable. The value of this principle is 
demonstrated in many electric light signs on 
our streets, though the principle is often disre- 
garded with the result that what should seem near 
seems distant and vice versa. We shall take up 
the topic of color more fully when we consider the 
factors which make for sustained attention, and 
shall there discuss the effectiveness of different 
color combinations. It is sufficient here to indi- 
cate the high initial attention value of color. 

105 



TRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

3. CUTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS 

Closely related to the interest in colors is that 
in pictures. Pictures were the first means of writ- 
ten communication. The letters of our alphabet 
can be traced far back to their early pictorial 
sources. The pictorial impulse is a universal one 
and no art has been further developed than that 
of pictorial representation. The reasons for this 
strong interest are many. Chief among them is 



^• 




Illustration as an Attention and Interest Device 



the fact that pictures so often afford pleasing 
color combinations. Again, two of the things that 
provoke strongest interest are personality and ac- 
tion. Next to a human being nothing is fuller of 
personality than a picture — the personality of the 

106 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

artist, of the subject represented, associations 
called np in the mind of the observer. Besides, 
the painter takes care to choose for his subject a 




The Use of Illustration 



theme that has an intrinsic interest. Experiments 
show this pictorial interest to be stronger with 
women and children than men. As the race has 
progressed, its means of communication have de- 
veloped in abstract directions, quite beyond the 

107 



PRINCIPl^ES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

pictorial stage. Men who have been most active 
in this process seem to have lost somewhat of 
their earlier pictorial interest. 

However, experiments go to show that there are 
two quite distinct classes of people in this re- 
spect, an unimaginative or imageless class, who 
require pictures for comprehension of statements 
in the copy, and another class who do not. Thus 
in a study by the writer of a group of expert en- 
gineers with respect to the persuasiveness of dif- 
ferent sorts of machinery advertisements, the men 
broke into two sharply defined groups. Mem- 
bers of one group seemed to think in terms of vis- 
ual pictures. They did not need an illustration of 
the machine, for the words themselves called up 
vivid mental pictures of the parts and the advan- 
tages described. To these men the presence of a 
cut was not necessary — they wanted all the text 
they could get and placed copy advertisements 
higher than advertisements with illustrations. 
But for the men in the other group the words 
called up no mental pictures. They seemed to 
think in terms of sounds and movements and had 
to have a complete cut of the machine before them 
before they could perfectly comprehend its ad- 
vantages. For such men advertisements with 
clear cuts were more persuasive than those with 

108 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 



only reading matter. See Chapter I for Table 
of these results. 

A study by Strong of thirty women in my own 
laboratory showed the same two groups. This 
was a study of the persuasiveness of ten adver- 
tisements for a given brand of soap. In the fol- 
lowing table the two groups are designated as 
Group A and Group B. The figures with the (-(-) 
or ( — ) indicate whether and how much these ad- 
vertisements were placed above (-f) or below 
( — ) the average by the members of the two 
groups. The pictures represented various combi- 
nations of cuts and reading matter, and it will be 
seen that one group (B) consistently places cuts 
higher than the average, and text lower, while 
the other group (A) just reverses this relation, 
placing text higher. 













TABLE 


VII 












Character and Content of the Appeals. 


P. 

13 

2 
o 


1 

All 
cut 


2 

All 
text 


3 

cut 


4 

% 
text 


5 

cut 


6 

text 


7 
cut 


8 
text 


9 
cut 


10 
All 
text 


A 
B 


-4.2 
+3.1 


+2.6 
-2.9 


—0.2 
+0.1 


+0.2+0.7 
-0.2-0.3 


+0.4 
+ 1.0 


+ 1.3 
-1.1 


-1.0 
+0.9 


-1.0 
+0.5 


+ 1.0 
-0.3 



Averages 

Group A places text advertisements high +1.3 

Group A places cut advertisements low — 1 . 

Group B places cut advertisements high +1.0 

Group B places text advertisements low —0 . 8 

109 



PRINCirLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



The inference is, then, that the ideal appeal 
should contain, other things being equal, both cut 
and reading matter. By this arrangement both 
the visual and auditory-motor types of imagina- 
tion will be provided for. 

Since illustrations are to be used, the question 
arises : What sort of a picture will be most effec- 
tive? A strictly relevant cut, portraying the ar- 
ticle itself and designed not merely to attract but 
to inform as well — such a cut, in fact, as the fol- 
lowing? Or should the cut be simply a means of 




THE COVSINS SHOE 

FOR WOMEN 

Particular Women choose this Shoe 
because of its elegance of line and pro- 
. portion. Besides, they know It Is the best 
at the price. 



A Strictly Kelevant Illustration 

catching the eye — a cut more or less unrelated to 

the article advertised — a pretty face, a funny 

scene, etc., such an irrelevant cut for example as 

the following? 

110 




THE COUSINS SHOE 

FOR WOMEN 

The High Plane of excellence in the 
Cousins Shoe is the logical result of Sixty 
Years of the most careful Shoemaking. 
The Cousins Shoe enfibodies the Perfect. 
Blend of Style, Comfort, and Durability. 



An Irrelevant Illustration 




Ei:;\iiiTiJA i;i.i.i.\A,T Illustration 
111 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

And, since reading matter is also to be used, 
should it be a straightforward declaration of sell- 
ing points — relevant copy! 




THE PHEASANT 

Fine fralhers im 
looking birds. It isn't tht 
oulej attractiveness but th« 
r worth that has made 
the MOGUL repuU- 
lion — A reputation 
tained by thousands 
okers who will hi 

■■. -CorR Tip Ciftj 



Or can it be irrelevant, merely amusing, strik- 
ing, or calculated to connect some special feeling 
with the article? 

An interesting study of this question is re- 
112 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

ported by Gale. These four kinds of material 
were exposed for brief intervals on five different 
occasions and record was made of the number of 
times each item was observed. The results are 
shown by a set of curves, which show the ef- 
fect of repetition on relevant and irrelevant 
words and cuts so far as attention value is con- 
cerned. 

The chief results may be summed up as fol- 
lows: 

I. With respect to attention value, the 
items stand in the following order: 

1. Relevant words 

2. Relevant and irrelevant cuts 

3. Irrelevant words 

II. On five repetitions of the same appeals: 

1. Relevant words increase in value 

2. All cuts decrease in value 

3. Irrelevant words do not change 
III. Women are more attracted by cuts and 

by irrelevancy than are men. 

This pioneer study by Gale is a most suggestive 
piece of work, and its results should be checked 
and verified or tested by other investigations of 
the same kind. Such studies are now in progress 
in several laboratories. 

113 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

4. SUGGESTED ACTIVITY 

Tlie fourth interest incentive grows out of 
the preceding one quite directly. It is what we 
may call interest in suggested action. Nothing is 
more interesting than a person, an animal, even a 
machine, in action. Much of the strength of win- 
dow demonstrations, street vending, etc., depends 
on this fact. The Neiv York Herald has no bet- 
ter advertisement than the sight of its presses, 
from the windows on Broadway. A barber strop- 
ping his razor, a gang of men unloading a piano, 
a mason using his trowel, a lather slapping in the 
nails, anywhere, even in politics and in the White 
House, the man in action attracts interest. This 
is not the same factor that we discerned under the 
head of movement. This is shown by the fact that 
pictures and representations of action have the 
same attractiveness as does the action itself. Pic- 
tures of people doing things possess an interest 
far greater than any representation of inert ob- 
jects or the most vivid word pictures. Note the 
effectiveness of suggested activity as shown in 
the quarter-page Graphite advertisement in Chap- 
ter V. 

A very curious and important fact in this con- 
nection is that to suggest action pictorially, the 

114 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

moving object must always be caught at a resting 
point, otherwise it suggests not action but arrest. 
The mistake is repeatedly made of supposing that 
to suggest motion, let us say of a horse trotting, 
the animal should be represented in the middle of 
its step. Nothing is further from the truth. To 
suggest action effectively the foot should be 
caught at one of two resting points, either at the 
initial point, before beginning the movement, or 
at the final point, midway between extension and 
return. To show it in the middle of its course 
suggests only pose, and stilted pose at that. Con- 
sequently walking is best represented not by a 
man with one foot in the air, but by one with both 
feet on the ground, one just having completed its 
swing, the other just about to begin. A man strik- 
ing a blow with his fist should be represented 
either with an arm drawn back ready to strike or 
with an arm extended, the blow having been al- 
ready launched, but never with it in a halfway 
position. Newspaper photographers are the most 
grievous blunderers in this respect by failing to 
press the button at the psychological moment. 
The accompanying illustrations clearly represent 
the truth of this principle. Compare the inert- 
ness, stiffness and lack of attractiveness in Group 
I with the animation and interest of Group II. 

115 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



It was thought that the introduction of moving 
pictures and kinematograph photography would 
be of great service to the painter and sculptor in 




^v. 



The Auto may be 
powerless on some of 
our lc7 country roads, 
but the horse with 

ROWE €!;s'^ CALKS 

goes along SURELY and 
SAFELY, and CAN PULL A 
HEAVY LOAD EASILY. 




#^^ 




The smile of con- 
fidence on man and 
horse tells the story 
"lalnly — the horse has 

ROWE S' CALKS 

on his shoes and an 
othervlse nervous 
animal has become sure- 
footed. 



The World moves and 
the old-fashioned 
methods of horseshoe 
sharpening must give 
•ay to the detachable 
Calks 

ROWE '5 H 

Say the word and I 
•ill get a set ready 




CALKS 



The look of eatlB- 
taetlon on horse and 
rider shows that the 
Captain Is having 
an easier time of It 
than the men afoot ; 
but he would not have 



ARE THEY MOVING? HOW DID YOU GUESS IT? 

Violating the Law of the Resting Point. Suggestion of Pose 
rather than of Activity. 

catching their living subjects in the process of 
quick action, preserving this attitude for repro- 
duction with brush and chisel. But it w^as found 
that the expectation was all a false hope. No at- 
titude represented action so vigorously as the 

116 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

resting points with whicli we were already fa- 
miliar. The reason for this rather surprising cir- 
cumstance is probably to be found, in part, in 




The flight of Time brings 
round our {^we date) Anniver- 
\are going to make 
3f mutual interest 

\n or garden^ 
a r£ 






^^ outdoor ^e-e"^; I 






THESE MOVE! DO THEY NOT? 

Illustkating the Law of the Resting Point. 
tion of Activity. 



Strong Sugges- 



the fact that the eye cannot perceive while it is it- 
self in motion. Look into a mirror at your own 
eye, meanwhile moving the eye about. You will 
find yourself unable to observe the movements of 
your own eye. For in the moment in which the 

117 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

movement is taking place, the external stimulus 
does not have time to set up any definite images 
on the constantly shifting retina. So it comes 
that, just because we do not see the intermediate 
positions except when the limb is deliberately held 
there fixed, we do not associate them with the 
movement, but always the two extremes that we 
do see. 

Observe the mental picture called up in your 
mind's eye when you read the words "a panther 
leaping." You will see the meaning is visualized 
either by the picture of a panther preparing to 
spring, or by that of a panther just alighted — 
probably never by the picture of a panther in 
the progress of the leap. Or if this should hap- 
pen, you will find that the panther is at that 
resting point immediately between springing and 
landing — the point between ascent and descent, 
when the animal hangs poised for a moment. 
So a successful picture of a man leaping a fence 
must catch him at one of the three resting points, 
the moment of springing, the moment of alight- 
ing, or the moment of suspension at the height of 
the leap when he seems poised just above the 
fence. 

How, then, can we represent action when there 
is no resting point to be caught? There are per- 

118 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

haps two chief types of cases in which this might 
be desirable : the case of a swiftly moving vehicle, 
and that of vibrating pieces of machinery. Here 
we clearly have a different proposition. We are 
dealing with inanimate objects, with mechanically 
produced and miiform motion. The law of asso- 
ciation which we invoked to explain the principle 
of the resting point must also come to our assist- 
ance here. All we can do is to portray the retinal 
picture which the eye gets when looking at such a 
moving object — blurred spokes in the wheels, 
streaming ribbons and banners, blurred visions of 
oscillating levers, or what not. The law is always 
to put there just what the eye could really see 
and no more. Too much interpretation and as- 
sistance on the part of the artist defeats its own 
purpose. 

5. THE COMIC 

The use of the comic element as an attention 
incentive in business is, to say the least, precari- 
ous, and will be successful only in the most skill- 
ful hands. We may discuss this factor under 
three headings: 

A. It must be pointed out first that the comic, 
while it attracts and sustains attention, draws this 
attention quite unto itself. The comic pictures 

119 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

occupying the Boston Rubber Company's adver- 
tisements attract only incidental attention to the 
commodity announced, and the reader remembers 
the picture but not the brand of goods. Repeated 
laboratory tests have shown this to be true. 

B. As will be developed later, a statement of 
selling points is perhaps the very best direction 
which an appeal can take. Selling points are seri- 
ous propositions, and so is the effective distribu- 
tion of goods. But the introduction of levity, 
which usually tends toward the ridiculous in ad- 
vertising copy, seems like an attempt to slur over 
and evade a discussion of the pertinent points at 
issue and to keep attention from them in favor of 
irrelevant material. The weakness of irrelevant 
matter we have already had occasion to point out. 

C. One especially important characteristic of 
the comic is the fact that we soon become adapted 
to it. Jokes and funny pictures rapidly become 
"chestnuts" and stale. But if the comic appeal is 
to be employed, it is worth while knowing that the 
different sorts of the comic do not grow stale with 
equal rapidity. Reports of a prolonged experi- 
ment on the effect of repetition on the comic and 
on the individual differences in reaction to comic 
situations have already been published by the au- 
thor. The full discussion can be found in the 

120 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

Psycliological Review for 1911. We may divide 
the comic into two main types. 




The rule in football is 
*'Hit the line hard" and 
'twas ours in ordering our 
clothing for fall. We hit 
the line hard and selected 
the finest and largest assort- 
ment of men's styles we 
have ever handled. It is 
a line that you and every 
man will enjoy looking 
through and wearing. 

From $15. durability to 
$35. luxury, whatever 
quality you select you'll get 
the full worth of your money 

To-day our special is {describe aitd 
price) . 

The Objective Comic. The Calamity. 

1. The objective, in which the source of amuse- 
ment is the fact that some other person is in- 
volved in a predicament, is subordinated, disap- 

121 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

pointed, deceived, tricked, duped or bantered, 
either by a third person or by natural forces, 




"Theri ain't no such animal." 

"In circus announcements lue expect 
the unexpected — but the store that ex- 
aggerates in its advertisements is simply 
signalling to the sheriff." — Hubbell. 

Our advertisements are so 
short, we're freed from the 
temptation of exaggeration. 

Here's a suit at $15. and 
an overcoat at $18. where 
every cent of the cost has 
been expended to give the 
customers utmost values, 
at the prices. 

The Objective Comic. The Naive. 

without serious consequences. Under such cir- 
cumstances we tend to be amused. The calamity 
joke, the naive or unconscious joke, would be ex- 
amples of this group. 

122 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

The second group, the subjective comic, com- 
prises those situations in which the laugh is 
caused by the fact that we ourselves are tricked, 
surprised, discomfited mildly, disappointed, in 





Here's a square pro- 
position for the man 
who wants an all-round 
suit--a suit for all kinds 
of wear and any kind of 
business. We've stud- 
ied every comer of the 
clothing business to 
make this suit a winner, 
to win your approval 
and to win new custom- 
ers. 

Some special trousers for tennis 
and golf. 

The Subjective Comic. Play on Words. 



expecting one thing, one event, one use of a w^ord, 
and getting instead an unexpected one. Exam- 
ples would be the pun, play on words, the sharp 
retort, the dialect joke, wit, etc. 

Now the characteristic of the objective comic is 
that it loses its flavor rather slowly — it often 
waxes, increasing in funniness with repetition. 
The subjective co^nic, on the other hand, becomes 

123 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

stale with great rapidity. When a series of comic 
appeals, containing examples of both classes, is 
arranged in an order of funniness in successive 




"Signs of an early spring.'* 

Means there's got to be 
something doing in our fur 
coats. 

We have a bunch Of hot 
ones and every one of them 
anxious to get in touch with 
YOU to prove what a warm 
friend it can be. 

Prices $— to $— 

Fur gloves $~ to $— 

Fur caps $— to $— 
The Subjective Comic. Play on Words. 

trials a week apart, the objective jokes rise in rel- 
ative value, thus constituting a waxing class. The 
subjective appeals fall in value, thus comprising 
a waning class. Jokes which contain both ele- 

124 



INTEREST INCENTIVES 

ments remain on a level. The reader is referred 
to the original article for further details. But the 
importance of this waxing and waning law, in se- 
lecting comic appeals to be repeatedly seen in an 
advertisement, is clear from what already has 
been said. 

6, 7, 8. FEELING TONE, INSTINCT AND HABIT 

There remain yet to be considered the in- 
terest incentives, of feeling tone, instinctive re- 




Showing the Influence op Five Repetitions on Objectively 
Comic Appeals. The Relative Value Increases 

sponse and effective conception. While it is true 
that these three appeals have a strong initial at- 

125 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

tention value, their greatest service lies in hold- 
ing the attention already attracted bj' some other 
device, or in reinforcing the response which this 
appeal invited. Hence we shall treat feeling tone 




Showing the Influence of Five Repetitions on Subjectu'ely 
Comic Appeals. The Relative Value Decreases 

under the heading of the second task, and instinct 
and effective conception under the fourth task of 
an advertisement. But, when we come to discuss 
their value as " sustain ers" of attention, it must 
be remembered that all that is said of them there 
applies equally well to their operation as initial 
appeals. 



CHAPTER VII 

AN EXPERIMENTAL TEST OF THE RELATIVE ATTEN- 
TION AND MEMORY VALUE OE THE MECHAN- 
ICAL AND THE INTEREST DEVICES 

In order to test the relative value of the inter- 
est incentives as compared with that of the me- 
chanical devices, an interesting experiment was 
performed with the aid of a group of six adver- 
tising men, selected from a class which had been 
following a course of study based on the material 
presented in this book. These men were made fa- 
miliar, through lectures and demonstrations, with 
the characteristics of the two groups of incen- 
tives. They were then given the 77 full-page ad- 
vertisements found in an issue of Everybody's 
Magazine, and asked to indicate, in the case of 
each advertisement, the chief three incentives re- 
lied on to attract and hold attention. When less 
than three devices were found, the indication in- 
cluded only such devices as were clearly discerni- 
ble. Three psychologists made similar determina- 
tions of these advertisements. The total number 
of votes, for the two classes of incentives, was 
computed for each advertisement, thus affording 

127 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

a fairly reliable measure of the ''character" of 
each. 

Meanwhile Dr. E. K. Strong tested the atten- 
tion and memory value of each of these advertise- 
ments, as shown by the ability of 137 women to 
recognize them as having been previously seen in 
a copy of the magazine which they had had in 
their possession for one week, with instructions to 
read a certain article therein, in connection with 
their regular class work in college. None of these 
women knew that they were going to be in any 
way tested for their memory of the advertise- 
ments, nor, indeed, in any other way. 

We have, then, the judgments of six advertis- 
ing men and three psychologists on the type of 
incentive most prominent in each of the appeals, 
and these judgments are shown in the following 
table. We have also a measurement of the at- 
tention and memory value of each of these adver- 
tisements, as secured from the records of the 137 
women readers. The following table gives thes^ 
values, also. The table gives the results for the 
10 best advertisements (remembered by the great- 
est number of readers) and for the 10 poorest 
(remembered by the fewest readers), exclusive of 
the six advertisements which appeared in pre- 
ferred position (cover pages and next to reading 

128 



RELATIVE VALUE OF INTEREST DEVICES 

matter). The "incentives" column gives the 
number of votes for each of the two types of de- 



vices. 



TABLE VIII 

The Ten Best Remembered 





Firm or Commodity 
Name 


Number 

of 

Mechanical 

Incentives 

Reported 


Number 

of 

Interest 

Incentives 

Reported 


Per Cent, 
of 137 
people 
who re- 
membered 


1'>8 


Ivory Soap 


6 
1 
1 
8 
8 
6 
5 
2 
1 
3 


16 
15 

6 
9 
15 
17 
15 
21 
18 
18 


8 2 


6 


Cosmopolitan 


8 


29 
117 


Barbara Worth 

Gillette Razor 


8.0 

7 2 


37 


Post Toasties 


7 1 


36 
96 


Campbell Soup 

Jap-a-Lac 


7.1 
6 8 


66 
57 
60 


Western Electric 

Baldwin Piano 

Mallory Hats 


6.6 
6.3 
6 3 




Averages 






4.1 


15 


7.2 



Percentage Interest Incentives, 78.5. 

The Ten Least Remembered 



62 
55 


Overland Auto 

Genasco ; 


9 
3 
6 
9 
2 
3 
9 
4 
3 
5 


4 
13 

12 
4 
1 
1 
9 
3 
5 
5 


1.2 
9 


64 
63 
96 


Wilcox Trucks 

Overland Auto 

Dahlstrom 


0.9 
0.7 
6 


48 


Underfeed 


2 


53 
30 
44 
5"? 


J. M. Asbestos 

Lord and Thomas 

Keystone Watch 

Congoleum 


0.2 
0.2 
0.0 





Averages 






5.3 


5.7 


0.5 



Percentage Interest Incentives, 51.8. 
129 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Two things are clearly indicated by the table. 
In the first place, those appeals which were re- 
membered by few of the readers are the ones 
which utilize few definite incentives of any kind. 
They are the ones on which fewest votes were cast 
for any incentives whatsoever — they were doubt- 
less constructed by ''inspiration," without any 
conscious or formulated plan in mind, and they 
well-nigh defy analysis, either by the advertising 
men or by the psychologists. This is in itself a 
lesson worth learning. 

But the second point is the one in which we are 
most interested in this connection. In the case 
of the advertisements best remembered, 78.5 per 
cent, of the votes were for interest incentives. 
These advertisements, relying for the most part 
on the interest devices (picture, novelty, color, 
feeling tone, the comic, suggested activity, in- 
stinctive reaction, and habit), are remembered by 
7.2 per cent, of the 137 people, that is to say, they 
were remembered over 14 times as often as were 
those relying on mechanical devices. 

In the case of these latter advertisements, the 
average amount of mechanical incentive (5.3) is 
even a little more than in the case of those of the 
first group. The only considerable change is in 
the degree to which interest incentives are relied 

130 



RELATIVE VALUE OF INTEREST DEVICES 

on. Here we find only 51.8 per cent, of the votes 
given to interest incentives, as contrasted with 
the 78.5 per cent, in the case of the better group. 
And, indeed, even this fairly high per cent, is al- 
most entirely due to two of the appeals. 

Taking the appeals one by one, in the case of 
the 10 best remembered ones, without exception, 
the interest incentives predominate. In the case 
of the 10 least remembered, in 7 cases out of the 
10 the mechanical incentives either equal or ex- 
ceed the interest incentives, leaving only 3 in 
which the reverse is the case. 

The superiority of the interest incentives, for 
purposes of attention and memory, for which we 
have contended throughout this discussion, is 
most thoroughly confirmed by the results of this 
experiment, as well as by the returns from adver- 
tisements actually run„ 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE SECOND TASK: HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

Let US assume, now, that, through the applica- 
tion of some principle in the foregoing chapters, 
an appeal has been formed so as to attract initial 
attention. The final effectiveness of the appeal 
will depend on whether or not this attention can 
be held long enough for the suggestion or the ar- 
gument to take its place in consciousness along 
with other appeals and to modify the later re- 
sponses of the reader. This is the point at which 
the persuasiveness of the appeal first begins to 
make itself felt. Persuasion is simply the act of 
holding the favorable attention long enough for 
the stimulus to enter into effective combination 
with other processes in consciousness. Such com- 
bination leads to the response. What the re- 
sponse is will be determined partly by the needs, 
resources and general purposes of the reader. 
But it depends also largely upon the character of 
the appeal, for this appeal may be potent enough 

132 



HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

to create his needs, suggest resources, and modify 
bis general purposes. 

We have already seen that attention always 
fluctuates or comes in pulses. The appeal thee 
cannot operate by simply prolonging the first mo- 
ment of attention. It must be so constructed that 
after this first moment the eye does not move to 
another thing, but fixates again and again the 
original object, that is to say, the reader must be 
able to see some new phase or aspect in the origi- 
nal appeal. Figure 1 (page 134) is able to hold 
attention, but it does so by appearing to change 
its character. Now it is seen as a stairway lead- 
ing upward, now it is a stairway upside down, now 
a set of steps seen from below, now from above, 
etc. As fast as attention to one aspect wanes an- 
other aspect suggests itself. The same is true of 
figures 2 and 3. Watch a passenger reading the 
Subway advertisements. You will see at once that 
he hurries by some cards and lingers over others. 
Or compare your own interest in the follow- 
ing advertisements. The first is too simple, 
the second is too complex and choppy, while the 
third is in some way so constructed that you look 
at it again and ^gain; it holds your attention. 
What then are the requisites for sustained atten- 
tion? 

133 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Here again we may point out two groups of 
factors, a group of mechanical devices and a 
group of interest devices. 




FIGURE 1 




FIGURE 2 




FIGURE .> 

Figures Appearing to Change Character 



134 



HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

I. MECHANICAL HELPS 

1. Complexity. — Unless the advertisement is in- 
tended to be a mere reminder, a mere suggestion 



New Oriental Gallery 

Wanamaker's 



Astor Place Station 




Cards from New York Subway 



of some other appeal previously seen, a certain 
amount of complexity is requisite. The adver- 
tisement should contain shifting points so that, 

135 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



while attention must fluctuate, it can flit from 
point to point, aspect to aspect, of the same space. 
Perhaps three elements or units, three facts, 
styles, etc., represent the ideal; three arguments 
or propositions of interest, three figures if the ad- 
vertisement takes the form of picture, three 
styles or sizes of type, three color masses, etc. 




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5LACK.TAN ANDWHm 



Securing Unity througu Structure 

This allows one object for the focus, one for the 
field, and one for the margin, and, if the elements 
are properly unified, prevents the encroachment 
of parts of some foreign unit into consciousness. 
2. Unity. — The second mechanical factor then 
is that of unity. Not only must there be com- 
plexity, but the elements should be so interrelated 
as to form a whole, so related that the shift from 
one to the other is perfectly natural. There are 

136 



HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

various ways in which this unity can be accom- 
plished. 

(a) Structure. — The elements may all partici- 
pate in a general design or composition, as do 
the figures in the Arrow Collar card. By the 
direction in which the faces are turned, by some 
common act in which all are engaged, etc., atten- 
tion may be led from point to point in the total 
composition, and always returned, in the long run, 
to the salient points or center of the arrangement. 
Notice how all the lines and all the faces of all the 
figures are turned in the direction of the man with 
the collar in the Arrow collar card. The Sistine 
Madonna is the classical example of such an ar- 
rangement. Aside from these devices of compo- 
sition, the content of the parts may all assist in 
the formation of a unit. Thus a question may lead 
naturally to an answer which follows or is to be 
found in another part of the composition. 

(b) The use of pointers, curves, arrows, bor- 
ders and similar lines may also be used to the 
same end. The border gives an artificial unity 
to the contents bounded by it. It tends to keep 
the eye within the given area, since the eye re- 
flexly tends to follow lines rather than to leap 
across them. Just as the pasture fence keeps the 
cattle wandering about the enclosure instead of 

137 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

breaking out of it, so the border, the curve, the 
pointer, keep the restless eye from straying to 
foreign quarters by turning it ever back toward 
the center of the composition. Moreover these 
borders, frames and lines of demarcation may be 




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An Attempt to Secure Unity by Mechanical Means (Lines) 

themselves artistically designed and so possess 
positive attention value which may reinforce that 
of the content of the space which they embrace. 
The simple law that the eye tends to move along 
lines instead of across them is worth bearing in 
mind. 

II. INTEREST DEVICES 

The mechanical devices for sustaining attention 
should not be disregarded, but their importance 
is insignificant as compared with what we may 
call the feeling tone of the appeal itself. By feel- 

138 



HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

ing tone we mean the pleasantness or unpleasant- 
ness which accompanies our perception of objects. 
Every object in our experience has a twofold 
character. It is at once an object of cognition 
and an object of feeling. 

From the point of view of cognition it is this 
or that object, has this or that use, is made of this 
or that material, and so on. From the other point 
of view it is not only this or that kind of object, 
but it also makes us feel agreeable or disagree- 
able, comfortable or uncomfortable in its pres- 
ence. It makes us feel either desire or aversion, 
it either attracts or repels. Experiments show 
that we not only feel at the same time that we 
perceive, but that we also make characteristic 
movements toward the object. 

The feeling of pleasantness is accompanied by 
expansive, open, appropriative bodily attitudes, 
and by actual movements toward the agreeable 
stimulus. Under these conditions stimuli effect 
easy entrance to the higher levels, make strong 
impressions and are long remembered. The pleas- 
ant impression tends to persist in consciousness, 
long after the original stimulus has been removed. 

The feeling of unpleasantness , on the contrary, 
is accompanied by retractile, conflicting or eva- 
sive movements, the organism tends to shrink 

139 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

away from the stimulus rather than to move 
towards it. Under these conditions the resistance 
of the nervous pathways is increased, stimuli 
make relatively faint impression, and this impres- 
sion tends easily to oblivisce or be forgot- 
ten. Along with the law of persistence of the 
pleasant goes that of the obliviscence of the dis- 
agreeable.^ The importance of the feeling tone 
of an appeal ought, then, to be very apparent. 
The feeling tone of an advertisement, as of any 
other object, will influence not only the amount 
of attention it receives but its persistence in con- 
sciousness as well, and it follows that the reac- 
tion to the appeal will also involve the article in 
the interest of which the appeal is made. 

The feeling tone of an appeal may depend on 
two principal factors: 

L On its form or arrangement, its character as 
a work of art, its general beauty. Symmetry, 
proportion, clearness, balance, the quality of 
lines, spaces, masses, colors, harmonies, at- 
mosphere, all play their role here, all of those ele- 
ments and laws of design which a course on the 
''Principles of Arrangement" would treat. 

II. The feeling tone will depend not only on the 

^See the article on this subject, by the writer, in the Journal of 
Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, Dec. 22, 1910. 

140 



HOLDING THE ATTENTION 

form of tlie appeal but on its content as well. 
Words have their feeling tone just as do lines 
and color. Besides, certain objects, ideas, topics, 
people, purposes, characteristics, arguments, as- 
sociations, etc., have the power to arouse strong 
agreeable feeling on the part of the reader while 
others are intrinsically repulsive. 



CHAPTER IX 

FEELING TONE OF FOEM 

These factors I shall discuss under the head- 
ings of the various elements of design — lines, 
form, relations, masses, colors, harmonies, etc. 

LINES 

Mathematically, lines are lacking in quality as 
they are in width, but psychologically, even the 
simplest line, as it appears in sketching, has both 
feeling tone and symbolic significance. This feel- 
ing tone of lines can be utilized to advantage in 
representing advertised articles by both relevant 
and irrelevant cuts, and should also be consid- 
ered in the appropriate selection of type faces. 
The feeling tone of a line depends upon three 
chief factors: (1) its quality; (2) its direction; 
(3) its character, as straight or curved. 

Quality. — The factors constituting the qual- 
ity of a line are: (1) breadth; (2) intensity; (3) 
texture; (4) color. By these we mean: (1) 

142 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 



whether the line is wide or narrow; (2) dark or 
light; (3) roiip^h or smooth; (4) its hue. 



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The Fine Black Line, Suggesting Precision and Hardness 

Speaking generally, the following principles 
hold: 

The fine gray line suggests delicacy of tex- 
ture. 

The fine black line suggests precision and 
hardness. 

The broad rough line suggests homeliness 

and solidity. 

143 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

The proper selection of lines in cuts or copy is 
of great utility in showing the texture of the ar- 
ticle, or in lending atmosphere either to the cut, 
the object, or the appeal as a whole. 



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The Broad Black Line, Suggesting Solidity and Weight 

Direction. — 1. Verticals. — The moderate use 
of vertical lines conveys a suggestion of simplic- 
ity, firmness and dignity, with a certain severe 
grace. Excess of verticals, however, is likely to 
give stiffness and rigid formality. 

There are two psychological reasons for this ef- 
fect of verticals : 

144 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 

(a) The feeling tone of all spatial elements, as 
of many spatial arrangements, depends on imi- 
tative tendencies to movement or attitude which 
they provoke on the part of the observer. The 
instinctive response to a vertical line consists in 
straightening out the body, assuming an erect 
position. This is the position we assume in mo- 
ments of formality, sternness, attention, dress 



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Illustrating Appropriate Use of Horizontal Lines 

parade, etc., and hence at once suggests to us the 
emotions accompanying these movements. 

(b) Ideal literary and architectural associa- 
tions of towers, monuments, columns, warriors, 
etc., with their erect, proud direction, have come 
to make the vertical symbolic of "uprightness," 
moral strength, and this symbolism still attaches 
itself to such a line, even when it is in no sense a 
part of the object with which the original asso- 
ciation was made. 

2. Horizontals. — The movement from side to 
145 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

side is the movement which the eye can execute 
with the least effort. So much is this true that 
we overestimate the length of verticals as com- 
pared with equal horizontals, since the former re- 
quire so much effort for the eye to sweep along 
them from end to end. Side to side movements 
are frequent, as in sweeping the horizon, reading, 
looking at an audience, etc. Their very frequency 




Illustrating Inappropriate Use of Diagonal Lines 

is probably the chief reason for their relatively 
greater ease. Hence the horizontal is the line of 
ease, quiescence and repose, almost of languor, 
' * the suggestion of lying down and the consequent 
suggestion of quiet and relaxation being particu- 
larly strong." 

As is well known, the headpiece of the Roman 
cross must be actually shorter if it is to appear 
equal to the arm pieces. The extra effort in- 
volved in running the eye along the vertical head 
piece makes that line seem equal in length to the 

146 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 

actually longer but more easily perceived horizon- 
tal arm. 

3. Diagonals. — The diagonal line seems to the 
observer to be full of action and movement. The 
psychological reasons for its possession of this 
character are: 

(a) The fact that our bodies when engaged in 
tense action of effort or movement are thrown 
into such oblique lines in order to counterbalance 
load or resistance. Hence, when we see these di- 
agonals, we associate the direction with the ob- 
lique lines which we observe when human beings 
are active. 

(b) The diagonal sets up imitative movements 
on the part of the observer. We tend to throw our 
own body in a direction corresponding to that of 
the line, and these movements at once call up the 
feelings of strain and activity associated with 
them under other circumstances. The ' ' Gladiator 
Combatant" in the Louvre and the diagonal of 
the three figures running, suggests this rush and 
speed of the oblique line generally. So does St. 
Gaudens' bas-relief on Boston Commons, and the 
Winged Victory fragment. 

4. Curves. — Generally speaking, curves are more 
pleasing than straight lines, whether the curve be 
arc, serpentine, loop, spiral or what not. The 

147 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

reason for this preference for curves is not very 
clear. The old theory that the most natural and 
agreeable eye movement was such as would be 




Feeling Tone from Direction of Lines 



made in following the preferred curves has been 
shown to be false. The eye, even in following 
curves, exerts jerky and irregular movements, 
which when traced or photographed do not at all 
make aesthetic lines. The most probable explan- 
ation is that offered by Gordon that "the curve 

148 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 

suggests smooth and easy movement in other 
parts of the body. We are able to move hand, 
wrists, head and feet, at least in serpentine lines 
and to experience the greatest ease and pleasure 
as well as the greater economy and power of these 
movements. It seems fair to assume that the 
memory of these movements, and perhaps some 
actual half-conscious movements like them, may 
be the basis of our aesthetic appreciation of the 
serpentine line." 

At any rate, curves, whether they occur in copy, 
cut or decorative design, avoid the hardness and 
stiffness likely to be produced by straight lines, 
giving an atmosphere of grace, pliability, richness 
and voluptuousness. 

CLOSED FORMS 

Geometrical forms, as well as lines, have their 
own individual feeling tone due (1) to the char- 
acter of their boundary lines and (2) to the char- 
acter of the enclosed space. The chief source of 
these qualities seems again to be imitative move- 
ments or memories on our own part. 

1. The triangle with its diagonal lines and 
sharp corners is lively, incisive and delicately bal- 
anced. Especially if it be not resting on its base, 
it is strongly suggestive of spirit, life and con- 

149 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

stant motion. The stars themselves are not really 
five-pointed, but nothing represents their twink- 
ling better than a combination of triangles. Tri- 
angles would form an appropriate border for ad- 
vertisements of sparkling water, wine, lively mu- 
sic, light, etc. An isosceles triangle resting on its 
base is a perfect example of balance that is not 
dead but quite alive and active. 

2. The square, composed as it is of vertical and 
horizontal lines, unites at once the stiffness and 
firmness of the former with the ease and repose 
of the latter, hence suggests solidity and strength, 
sturdiness. This is true so long as the square 
remains on one of its sides. The moment it 
stands on one corner it resolves itself into tri- 
angles and conveys the corresponding impression 
of delicate balance and liveliness. 

3. The Oblong. — These forms vary so much in 
proportion and magnitude that it is difficult to as- 
sign them as a class any common emotional qual- 
ity. But one interesting and important feature 
about them is the fact of rather decided prefer- 
ence for certain proportions. Nearly a hundred 
years ago Zeising argued for the ** golden sec- 
tion" as the most beautiful of all proportions. 
By the '\golden section" is meant a division of a 
whole into two parts, in such a relation that the 

150 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 

size of the whole is to the size of the larger part 
as that part is to the smaller (a + b : a : : a : b), or, 
roughly, a ratio between the two parts of 3:5. 
The law was supposed to hold for the division 
of lines and rectangles, dimensions of rectangles, 
ellipses, and other geometrical forms, as well as 
for concrete objects of art and industry, rooms, 
blocks, playing cards, windows, doors, fountains, 
books, writing paper, etc. 

In order to be most pleasing, the dimensions of 
these objects must conform to the 3 : 5 ratio. 
There has since been considerable experimental 
evidence for this preference, and the measure- 
ment of many forms which are pleasing will be 
found to conform to it. Advertisements should 
utilize all possible chances of pleasing the eye. 
The division of the advertisement into cut and 
copy, the size of the card or space, the shape of 
trade marks, etc., could all utilize the principle, 
and doubtless with good effect. But it should be 
remarked here that the apparent proportion of a 
closed space form is often modified by the influ- 
ence of adjacent elements and figures and the 
role which the form plays in the design as a whole. 
So much for the lines and forms. Let us now 
turn to the matter of relations, or to what are 
called the principles of design. 

151 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



PEINCIPLES OF DESIGN 

The general laws of arrangement will be found 
fully analyzed in text books on design and deco- 
r^ation, and somewhat more briefly in the text 
books on aesthetics, but it seems worth while to 
sum up a few of these principles in the present 
connection. So far as we shall do this, the mat- 
ter will fall under the three heads of rhythm, bal- 
ance and stability. 

1. Rhythm is an important element in agreeable 
decoration, such as borders, etc. The basis of 
rhythm lies in the motor response, of an imita- 
tive kind, which the observer makes. The body is 
a rhythmical machine, and repetitions that fall in 
with organic rhythm easily fall into rhythmical 
groupings in perception. 

Rhythm consists of some kind of repetition, 
but this repetition need not be literal nor com- 
plete. The essential thing about rhythm in spa- 
tial design is that the direction of the movement 
be (1) definite and (2) clearly indicated. 




does not produce a rhythmical effect, but — 

152 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 



does, since it reads clearly from left to right. The 
single element gives direction, and the design as 
a whole is but a repetition of this motive. In A 
the movement may be either left-right or right- 
left, hence A cannot be called a rhythmical de- 
sign. But there may be subdivision of the ele- 
ment, so that some larger section of the design 
serves as the motive. 
Thus in 




there is repetition more or less complete, but only 
the group of four elements suggests direction, 
hence the group would be the element of rhythm. 
This is also true in the case of D. 



D 



2. Balance in Design. — Just as balance is neces- 
sary in color arrangement, so it is an essential 

153 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

factor in spatial arrangement. The human body 
is bilaterally symmetrical, and designs which set 
up bi-symmetrical movements of examination, re- 
sponse or imitation fit in most agreeably with the 
organic habit and structure. The most perfect 
balance would be what we call bilateral sym- 
metry. In such compositions each half is a per- 
fect copy of the other except for direction. Only 
in very formal compositions can this condition be 
conformed to. In actual representative painting, 
in type arrangement and illustrations by cuts, 
some deviation is of course required. 

So for practical purposes we usually have to 
resort to what Puffer calls ''substitutional sym- 
metry." According to the principles of "substi- 
tutional symmetry" there are four items of 
"weight" in composition, and these four items 
may be made to balance each other in various 
combinations. The items are : 

1. Mass. 

2. Depth or vista. 

3. Direction (of line or motion or attention). 

4. Interest. 

Says Gordon: "In good pictures one will 
probably find an equation in which two of these 
items are set over against the other two, unless 

154 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 



^I^ES= 



1%*. «(, 



Like 




, aeroplanes 

^{■^ M.y favorite trains 
)i O'er top tHe loftjx 
Mountain cHains. 
There's cool deli^lit 
^^ At sucli a Ireiglit 
'^ ~ Upon tHe road. f= 
of Antliracite. 




Lackawanna 



Balance of Mass against Vista (Distance) 

it happens that one item is extraordinarily 
stronger, and in this case it will be balanced by 
the other three. In a portrait, for instance, if the 
mass of the person's form is on one side of the 



1 ^^T=^ 







"faint k with 

New -Skin 
iinil foriicl it" 



Hi; K'Lgwr 



__ J 



Mechanical Balance of Mass against Mass 



canvas, together with some interesting object, 
like a flower or an animal, one would expect to 
find on the opposite side some vista of depth or 
direction of attention by means of line or mo- 
tion. ' ' 

155 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

In this substitutional symmetry a small, inter- 
esting object is found to balance a larger but less 
interesting one. 




OXY 

THE PEROXIDE CREAM 



Based 6a Oxygen— 

(he greatest cleanser known. 
Keeps the skin healthy by keeping it deaa 
Healing, refreshing, beautifying. 

,V;cepl no >ut»UI>.l.». Uok I°t Ihc won) OXY 

Prepared only ty tte Bell aTenucai Company, New York 



Disregards the Law of Balance 

3. Stability. — Here we may again quote Gor- 
don: ''AnoiJier phase of the problem of bal- 
ance is the distribution of masses and space 
between the upper and lower parts of a compo- 
sition. An arrangement may be symmetrical on 
its right and left halves, but wholly unsymmetri- 
cal as between upper and lower halves. In gen- 
eral, to prevent top-heaviness and give, as it were, 
enough ballast to a composition, there should be 
more below the center than above it. Pierce's 
experiments show that the principle of stability 
is even of more moment than that of left and 
right balance. An inverted pyramid would be an 
unpleasant and precarious-looking structure. The 
visible sign of a sure equilibrium is breadth of 
base, and most massive things are built to slope 
by more or less obvious degrees toward their tops. 

156 



FEELING TONE OF FORM 

It is not true, though, that all beautiful and well- 
poised forms are larger at the bottom ; very good 
effects are sometimes secured by putting the mass 
of the thing represented near the upper limit of 
the picture. A mass of graceful flowers may fill 
the upper part with only their slender stocks be- 
low; a drift of clouds or a flock of birds may be 
shown high up in the picture, with only a few 
landscape lines below, the nearest approach to 
empty space. Why do not such pictures look as 
top-heavy and unstable as the inverted pyramid? 
''The reason is that they represent things that 
are not dead, inanimate weights, but are delicate 
and light. Placing the flowers or clouds or birds 
above the center of the picture, with the empty 
space below, is just what suits their character, 
and brings out their lightness and buoyancy. 
These two facts, then, are part of the same truth ; 
to gain stability, large masses must be below the 
center, and this is appropriate when the masses 
are supposed to be heavy; to gain freedom and 
buoyancy, masses may lie above the center, and 
this is appropriate when the masses represent 
something light." 



CHAPTER X 

FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

Under this heading come the topics ; color qual- 
ity, color harmony and balance, relations of feel- 
ing tone to imagination, imagery types, feeling 
tone of words, pictures and associations, and the 
curious facts of synaesthesia. These topics we 
now take up in order. 

CHAEACTER OF COLORS 

To sensitive observers the simple colors, taken 
separately, possess different emotional tones. 
This tone depends partly on the physiological 
factors already discussed, and partly on associa- 
tions which may have been originally of a more 
or less arbitrary kind. On this point I can do no 
better than quote from Gordon's "Esthetics" 
(p. 146). 

1. Red. — "Eed has been compared to the blare 
of a trumpet, loud and ringing; it is also known 
as one of the 'warm' colors. Some clue to the 
emotional effect of a color is gained by a glance 

158 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

at the associations and the symbolism which have 
grown lip around it. Red, the color of the blood, 
is the symbol of passion and death. Among the 
Chinese it is said to denote virtue and truth. 
With the ancient Romans the red flag was the 
battle signal. In the middle ages of Europe the 
candidate for knighthood was invested with the 
red garment in token of his readiness to shed his 
blood. In the Christian era Christ and the Vir- 
gin are very generally represented as wearing a 
red tunic under a blue mantle. The symbolic use 
of red in modern art is illustrated in Rossetti; in 
'Dante's Dream' the angel of love is all in scarlet 
and scarlet poppies strew the floor, and in 'Beata 
Beatrix' there is the scarlet dove. A distinction 
was made, in religious art, between different 
qualities of the same color; for example, a clear 
red denoted a pure feeling, but a muddy red was 
the hue of sin. In Abbey's 'Holy Grail' paintings 
the robe of Gallahad is a clear red." 

2. Yelloiv. — "The yellow of the spectrum is the 
brightest of all the spectral hues. It is joyous 
and uplifting; in the orient a sacred color, a sym- 
bol of faith and of the sun. The Christian church, 
however, made yellow the color of dishonor, and 
in popular symbolism it stands for jealousy and 
decay. Pale yellow and gold are among the most 

159 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

adaptable colors in tlie sense of making pleasant 
combinations with almost any other color. Both 
red and yellow are usually spoken of as strong 
or exciting colors, though the type of excitement 
is not the same in both. Eed is said to suggest a 
hurried, onward, dashing, but orderly movement, 
accompanied by sound; yellow a lighter, airy, 
whirling movement." 

3. Green. — ''Green belongs to the cool end of 
the spectrum, and is less exciting than the reds 
and yellows. Grant Allen points out that green 
is, among primitive peoples, relatively unprized. 
He says the men in civilized communities, i.e., in 
cities, have missed the green of the fields and 
woods, and hence have come to the appreciation 
of it. In Christian symbolism it stands for hope 
and inspiration. We connect it also with spring- 
time and growing things." 

4. Blue. — ''Blue is generally felt to be cool and 
calm and to be suggestive of stillness and depth. 
Ruskin writes as follows : 'Wherever Turner gives 
blue, there he gives atmosphere; it is air, not 
object. Blue he gives to his sea, so does nature; 
blue he gives, sapphire deep, to his eternal dis- 
tance, so does nature ; blue he gives to the mighty 
shadows and hollows of his hills — but blue he 
gives not where detailed and illumined surfaces 

160 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

are visible.' Lafcadio Hearn writes similarly 
and says that blue appeals to one 's ideas of ' alti- 
tude, of vastness and of profundity,' and tliat it 
is the 'tint of distance and vagueness.' And 
again, 'Vivid blue, unlike other bright colors, is 
never associated in our experience of nature with 
large opaque solidity.' 

''Blue tones, thus, since they are enveloping, 
atmospheric and spacious, should be proper for 
the decoration of backgrounds, of walls and of 
ceilings. The beautiful fitness of Puvis de Clia- 
vannes' mural paintings is due in part to 
their soft prevailing blues. Blue in Christian 
art and in popular symbolism is the color for con- 
stancy. ' ' 

5. White, Gray and Black. — "White stimu- 
lates a joyful but serene mood. It is the symbolic 
color of joy and purity. Gray is of all colors the 
most sober, quiet and subtle. A laboratory sub- 
ject, whose task was to look at a large sheet of 
gray paper and to record her impression of the 
color experience, wrote as follows: 'Visually a 
pure gray, it gives the impression of softness and 
depth. I seem to hear its very quietness. Its 
gentleness of gradation and of shading suggests 
grace, delicacy, and expertness. The whole ex- 
perience is one of neatness, delicacy, and refine- 

161 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

mont, which ideas produce a bodily feeling of 
reverence or of deference.' " 

Poetically we find gray referred to as a ''chas- 
tened tinge" or as ashen or sober. 

Black by itself is melancholy and depressing, it 
is the symbol, among western peoples, of grief and 
death. It stands also for quiet. In combination 
with other colors, particularly when it is limited 
in extent, black makes the impression of great 
concentration and strength. No other color has 
more "character" than black. 



COLOR COMBINATIONS 

Without going into the technical aspect of color 
mixture or of decorative design we may give sev- 
eral leading principles of agreeable color combi- 
nations : 

1. Cool colors harmonize well with their own 
tints, but tints of warm colors usually harmonize 
best with other colors, or with their own shades. 

2. Complementary colors combine agreeably, but 
combinations of colors not quite complementary 
(leaning toward the warm end) are usually pre- 
ferred. 

3. Oranges and yellows and golds have the most 
acceptable harmonizing qualities, and they com- 

162 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

bine well both with their own shades and with 
other colors. Even discordant colors can often 
be reconciled by joining their edges with a band 
of gold. 

4. For the most part, colors combine pleasantly 
with the white-gray-black series. But it seems 
that the better a color harmonizes with other col- 
ors, the less pleasing is it in combination with 
gray. 

5. The most agreeable combinations, according 
to Kirschmann, are those which exhibit three 
kinds of contrast effect, namely : Contrast of hue, 
of brightness and saturation, 

6. For brilliant and vivacious effects the con- 
trasted color scheme is the best suited. "This 
would show, perhaps, two key colors, whose tints 
and shades would weave together, or, according 
to some, a concentrated scheme must represent 
the three colors red, blue and yellow" (Gordon, 
p. 151). 

7. For a more uniform and subdued effect the 
gradual transition of the dominant method is bet- 
ter suited. Here "there should be one prevailing 
hue, and variations should be introduced by 
changes in the saturation and brightness and by 
limited changes in hue. There might be touches 
of contrasted colors, but not enough to interfere 

163 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

with the impression of a single governing hue" 
(Gordon, p. 151). 

COLOR BALANCE 

1. Quantity (From Gordon, p. 153). — ''When 
two masses of color are alike in every way, hue, 
brightness, saturation, size, shape — occupying 
symmetrical positions on either side of a picture 
or design — they are said to balance. In this fig- 
urative conception of balance the center of the 
picture is regarded as a fulcrum and the horizon- 
tal distances out from the center are the two arms 
of the lever. We know that in maintaining a 
literal physical balance, if we shorten the arm of 
a lever on one side we must increase the weight 
on that side, but that if we lengthen the arm we 
must diminish the weight. The same thing is true 
of the apparent balance between color masses. A 
small color mass far out from the center balances 
a large mass close up to the center. A more com- 
plex problem presents itself when the two op- 
posed colors are no longer of the same quality; 
when, for instance, blue must be balanced with 
orange, or yellow with green. Experiments show 
that (on a dark background) a small mass of 
bright color seems to balance a large mass of 
dull color. If, then, we had a bright and a dark 

164 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

mass of equal size the bright mass should be put 
on the shorter lever arm, that is, nearer the cen- 
ter of the picture, since its extra weight must be 
offset by short leverage. . . . On a light back- 
ground the more a color approaches black the 
greater its weight or value." 

2. Quality. — Besides this quantitative balance, 
there is a balance of quality depending on the 
phenomenon of contrast. According to Ross ("A 
Theory of Pure Design"), ''Tones, simply as 
tones, disregarding the positions, measures, and 
shapes which may be given to them, balance, 
when the contrasts which they make with the 
ground tone upon which they are placed are 
equal. ' ' 

Says Gordon: "When a composition contains 
three or more hues, then a balance becomes pos- 
sible. In a design of white, gray, and black the 
brightnesses balance when the gray is as much 
darker than the white as the black is darker than 
the gray. The hues of yellow, greenish yellow 
and orange yellow would balance if the greenish 
and the orange yellows were removed by equal 
degrees from pure yellow. It is also proper to 
speak of a balance of saturations when two tones 
vary by equal degrees of saturation from a 
ground tone," 

165 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

So much for the feeling tone of form and ar- 
rangement. It is impossible in the time at our 
disposal to illustrate each of these facts in the 
concrete field of advertising. The composer or 
designer must himself make the applications. 
But the propriety or impropriety of a given form 
ought to be fairly obvious if the foregoing prin- 
ciples are borne in mind. Thus the writer recalls 
an advertisement for beds and mattresses in 
which the composer sought to convey an atmos- 
phere of quiet and repose. But the effect was 
utterly destroyed by the insistent activity of a 
diagonal line of type and contrasting color which 
ran across the composition. Moreover, the colors 
selected for this appeal were not the quieting and 
soothing blues and greens, but aggressive and ir- 
ritating oranges and yellows. The best way to 
realize fully the importance of these laws of feel- 
ing tone is to go about looking for examples of 
their violation. 

The lines, forms, relations, colors and distribu- 
tion of elements should so far as possible reflect 
the character of the goods or the mood desired in 
the reader. A patent illustration of this would 
be the fact that in selecting type faces, bulk, 
weight, mass or strength demands heavy, strong, 
bold faced type, while an appeal to feeling or emo- 

166 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 



Lentheric, Taris 




220 "Jfue SdinlHonoN 



Harmonious Coordination between Subject, Type and 
Tkade-mark 



tion should be conveyed by means of artistically 
formed letters, shaded type, with free, flowing 
or graceful lines. Observe the accompanying il- 

Lord & T aylor 

Imported Lace Curtains 

Arab Marie Antoinette Hfnaistance 
"Brwsels Irish Point 

600 pairs at . . $I2»^0 v^ 

Value ^15.00 and $18.50 

325 pairs at $17-50 p^ 

Value $21.50 and $23..50 

Point Arab and Italian Filet 
Lace Curtains 

■t $35.00, 50.00, 75.00, 115.00 pair 
Usual prices $50.00, $«5.00. $100.00, $150.00 

Embroidered Portieres 

Single pairs 
Formerly $10.00 to $110.00 pair 



A $20.00 to 65.00 



P«T 



Bomdway & 20tb St. : StbAre.; lOtbSt 

Type Faces Suggesting Refinement and Delicacy of Texture 

1S7 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

lustrations, which show the effectiveness of such 
selection. 



FEELING TONE AND IMAGINATION 

The feeling tone of a given composition of read- 
ing matter and cut will also depend somewhat on 
what is called the imagery type of the reader. 
We can think of objects even when they are not 
present to our sense organs. Thus I can call up 
in my mind's eye more or less vividly my boyhood 
home, and seem to see, though more obscurely 
than if I were present on the spot, the house and 
barn, the grape arbor, the garden, even my little 
bookcase in the library. I can smell the honey in 
the bee boxes and can hear the general hum and 
stir of the hives. I can do this because I can call 
up images of these past experiences. Or by put- 
ting together the images of wheels, sails, birds, 
ropes, etc., which I have actually seen in the 
past, I can create in my mind's eye an aeroplane 
of a pattern which has never yet been con- 
structed. 

Similarly, if you read the following list of 
words through slowly, you will find that each 
word calls up some image of the thing it repre- 
sents. 

168 



REELING 


TONE 


OF CONTENT 


Violin 




Earthquake 


Beefsteak 




Falling from a balloon 


Subway 




Battle 


Cheese 




Caruso 


Surf 




Elevator 



You will find, further, that some of the images 
come quickly, others slowly; some are strong and 
vivid, others faint or obscure; some words will 
call up visual pictures, some auditory, others feel- 
ings of movement, still others tastes, smells, 
touches, temperatures, etc. You will likely find 
that in your own case the swift and vivid images 
will all tend to be of the same type: visual, au- 
ditory, etc., as the case may be. 

But if you compare your results with those of 
several of your friends you will likely find strik- 
ing differences. One will think of "earthquake" 
in terms of rumbling noises, another in terms of 
irregular and sudden tossings and movements of 
his own body, while still another will see falling 
buildings, smoke, and frightened people in his 
mind's eye. With respect to their normal and 
most vivid imagery, people show not universals 
but types. And the result of such an experiment 
as that above will usually reveal the imagery type 
of the reader, that is, it will show what kinds of 

169 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

imagery he employs easily, quickly, vividly and 
most frequently. 

Thus one observer recorded 2,500 of his own 
images during two years of study of the subject, 
and recorded the following table: 

TABLE IX 

Visual 57% Organic 1% 

Auditory 20% Taste 6% 

Olfactory Q% Motor 8% 

Tactual 4% Emotional 1% 

Temperature 2% 

The two types that are most pronounced are 
the visual type and the auditory-motor type. 

Images of the so-called "lower senses," touch, 
taste, smell, temperature, etc., are both slow and 
weak as well as infrequent with most people. But 
in describing such things as clothing, furniture, 
food products, toilet articles, fabrics, soaps, per- 
fumes, etc., the advertiser desires very much to 
arouse such images. If they can be aroused suc- 
cessfully, they not only add tremendous interest 
to the advertisement itself, but they may actually 
constitute selling points for the article described. 
This will be especially true of all appeals made 
over the short circuit — all appeals to the appetite, 
the instincts, the feelings and emotions of the 
prospective purchaser. And it is precisely with 
such articles as those mentioned above that the 

170 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

feeling appeal seems to be most effective — articles 
which contribute toward personal comfort, con- 
venience, pleasure and satisfaction, and which yet 
do not involve any great expenditure. It is well, 
then, to point out the ways in which these images 
may be most effectively aroused. 

1. Words. — It is difficult to arouse images of 
touch, taste, smell, temperature, appetite, etc., by 
means of ivords. But it can be accomplished if 
the words are chosen carefully for their poetic 
quality and applied with a certain moderate pro- 
fusion and cumulative effect. The poetic quali- 
ties of words depend on two chief factors. 

(a) Their phonic composition. — Certain combi- 
nations of oral sounds are in themselves agree- 
able, and the advertising writer should develop a 
delicate sense for the feeling tone of sound com- 
binations. Compare, for instance, the auditory 
distastefulness of the words in the first column 
with the agreeableness of those in the second. 

I II 

Tootsie Rolls Sapolio 

Lemon Squash Ivory 

Waw-waw Sauce Electroline 

Bootz Cordial Clover Farms 

Beakes Dairy Crystal Domino 

Stink Spearmint 

Foot-Eazer Shakamaxon 
171 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

This matter of phonic feeling tone can be best 
studied by using words in a foreign language, 
whose meanings are unknown. The elements of 
association and poetic usage are thus eliminated, 
and striking results are secured. Thus a French 
woman is reported as having said that "cellar 
door" is the most pleasing of English words. 

(b) Besides arousing the feeling tone due to 
phonetic composition, words may be pleasant or 
unpleasant because of associations which cluster 
around them. These associations are largely due 
to literary usage, though this usage will usually 
be found to depend on simple psychological facts 
due to the quality, composition, origin or history 
of the words themselves. Thus there tends to 
be, on the whole, a certain set of words which, 
while conversationally satisfactory, are felt to be 
inappropriate for use in literary composition. 
And even in the language of writing, as distinct 
from language of conversation, certain words and 
groups of words seem to be sacred to poetry, ro- 
mance and song. Compare, with this idea in 
mind, the two following columns of words. 



I 




II 


Horse 




Steed 


Girl 


172 


Maiden 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

Writing Scripture 

Book Volume 

Candy Sweet-meat 

Jump Leap 

Hogs Swine 

Light Ignite 

The factors involved here are too complex for 
brief discussion. It must suffice to point out that 
the image-power of words depends largely on 
their feeling tone. An appreciation of this feel- 
ing tone must come from literary training rather 
than from scientific experiment. 

2. Pictures. — A peculiar thing about these im- 
ages from the lower senses is that, although they 
are not easily aroused directly by words, they 
come rather easily and vividly when a visual im- 
age or impression is present to help them into 
consciousness. Consequently, the most effective 
way of producing them is by means of suggestive 
pictures of tasteful scenes associated with the ar- 
ticle, or by a tempting array of pictures of the 
objects themselves, in a setting which itself pos- 
sesses agreeable feeling tone. 

The important thing here is the necessity of 
avoiding disagreeable images or negative sugges- 
tions, either in, 

173 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

1. The picture itself. 

2. The reading matter. 

3. The name or brand mark. 

4. The adjacent advertisements. 

5. Chance associations. 

These points can be best illustrated by giving in- 
stances of their violation. 

Don't use anything but 

If you wish for a really dis- 
Mouthwash iniegtjng ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ 

'^"'"""^ mouth and the teeth. 

Testimonials from all circles of society. 
Obtainable on board the Lloyd Steamers. 

ROBERT HQHMANN, pharmaceutical preparations^ 
Magdeburg-WesterhUsen. 

IXAPPROPBIATE FEELING TONE MaY IN SOME CaSES BE PrOVOKED 

BY This Advertisement 

1. The picture of a guest at a restaurant table 
refusing a substitute for some article the name 
of which appears nearby in bold type is likely to 
associate the act of rejection with the very article 
advertised. 

2. The suggestions of substitutes, even in the 
nature of warning, is considered in general to be 
a bad method psychologically. It calls up extrin- 
sic, foreign imagery, in the place of relevant pic- 
tures. 

174 




FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

3, The third point is constantly violated by ad- 
vertisements which associate disagreeable words, 
objects or people with the commodity, as 

Slimy fish with medicine 

Guinea pigs with toilet preparations 

Tramps with soap and lotions 

Cattle with tobacco 

Frogs with cotfee 

A dirty floor with sonp 

Butterflies with sugar etc. 




Feeling Tone op Associations Inappropriately Used. Cover of 
a folder issued by Sehonland Bros., sausage manufacturers in 
Portland, Me. (From Advertising and Selling, Dec, 1910.) 

4. Writers have frequently pointed out the fu- 
tility of placing a breakfast food advertisement 
alongside one for an asthma cure, that of a deli- 
cate dessert next to a remedy for eczema, etc. 
The important principle here is that the feeling 
tone of an appeal depends not entirely on our 
reaction to that appeal alone, but also on our 

175 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

general mood at the time. And this general mood 
is easily influenced by adjacent advertisements, 
recent experiences, etc. 

5. In illustration of the role of chance associa- 
tions we may instance two facts : 

A. An article may be surrounded with a favor- 
able atmosphere, a favorable association cluster, 
by utilizing an atmosphere already created for 
another purpose. Thus our attitude toward a 
Yale bicycle or a Yale pipe is influenced by 
what we already know of the efficiency of Yale 
locks or of the prowess and reliability of Yale's 
football team. Arcadia Mixture smoking to- 
bacco has been sold to many a smoker because of 
the delightful atmosphere previously drawn about 
the name in J. M. Barrie 's ' ' My Lady Nicotine. ' ' 
There may be certain unethical features involved 
in such utilization of borrowed atmosphere, but 
the psychological basis for its success remains, 
nevertheless. 

B. Synsesthesia. — An interesting phenomenon 
which may some day become of concrete use to 
the advertisement writer is the fact that certain 
sensations are often closely associated with sen- 
sations from quite different sense departments. 
Thus sounds of musical instruments, vowels, syl- 
lables, may be seen to be colored. One man on 

176 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

record sees consonants as purplish black, while 
the vowels vary in color. "U" is a light dove 
color, *'e" is pale emerald, *'a" is yellow, etc. 
Thinking of the word ''Tuesday," the first part 
seems light gray-green and the latter part yel- 
low. 

In some cases colors accompany the sensations 
of taste and smell. Salt, for instance, is de- 
scribed by one observer as dull red, bitter as 
brown, sour as green or greenish-blue, and sweet 
as clear bright red. One observer sees the taste 
of meat as red and brown, Graham bread as a 
rich red, and all ice creams — except chocolate and 
coffee — as blue. To another observer the sound 
of the word "intelligence" tastes like fresh sliced 
tomatoes and "interest" like stewed tomatoes ! 

These synaesthesias, as they are called, seem, 
however, to be so individual and personal that no 
two people are likely to agree on them by pres- 
ent methods of inquiry. If there were more gen- 
eral laws there could be much clever and subtle 
selection of appropriate colors, words, etc. At 
present, however, no such laws can be announced. 

STKAIN AND RELAXATION 

In discussing the suggestive character of hori- 
zontal and diagonal lines we have already had 

177 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

occasion to refer to feelings of strain and relaxa- 
tion. Feelings of this sort are of particular im- 
portance in another connection, that of the legi- 
bility of type when an appeal is presented to the 
sense of sight. ^Many an advertisement fails to 



THE HOTEL SEVILLE OFFERS VERY 


DESIRABLE SUITES OF ANY NUMBER OF 


ROOMS, WITH ALL MODERN IMPROVE- 


MENTS. THE ROOMS ARE OF VARIOUS 


SIZES, EQUIPPED WITH LARGE CLOS- 


ETS, AKE WELL FURNISHED AND WELL 


ARRANGED. THE TABLE (A LA CARTE) 


AND ITS APPOINTMENTS ARE STRICTLY 


FIRST CLASS. WELL-TRAINED WHITE 


SERVANTS RENDER STRICTLY UP-TO- 


DATE SERVICE. ROOMS AND SUITES ARE 


RENTED BY THE DAY, BY THE SEASON 


AND BY THE YEAR. A VERY QUIET YET 


CENTRAL LOCATION, APPEALING PAR- 


TICULARLY TO PEOPLE OF REFINEMENT 


MADISON AVENUE AND EDW. PURCHAS, 


TWENTY-NINTH STREET. MANAGER. 



Strain 

influence simply because it is so difficult to read 
that few individuals take the pains to decipher 
it. The Hotel Seville announcement shows an ad- 
vertisement of this sort, which has caught my eye 
many times, but which to this day I have not yet 
read, nor shall I ever read it through. Compare 
this hotel announcement with that of the Bel- 

178 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

nord. The comfortable legibility of the latter 
contrasts strongly with the hopelessness of the 
former. The former is an example of strain, the 

CThe BELNORD is built in the form of a hollow 
square, enclosing the largest apartment house court in 
existence. Every room is an outside room. Each 
suite, 7 to 1 1 rooms, includes numerous modem de- 
vices for extra comfort and convenience. 

CThe absence of noise and vibration has been 
achieved by locating the engine rooms under the cen- 
tral court and not under any part of the building 
-proper. Yearly rentals begin at $2,400. 

CA visit to the BELNORD will save you many fa- 
tiguing days of "apartment hunting." Interested 
parties are cordially invited. 

iV. H. DOLSON & CO.. Agents 

QJfice on (he Prtmiscs 
2364 Broadway, at 86th St. Telephone I0400~Rtcer. 

Relaxation 

latter an example of relaxation, both being de- 
pendent on the legibility of the appeal. In this 
connection it may be useful to point out some of 
the factors which make for legibility of printed 
matter. 

179 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

1. Favorable Length of Printed Lines. — rExperi- 
mental studios of the way in which the eye be- 
haves in reading show that the whole line of 



Go to the bottom of the roofing question 
— if you want to save money on your I'oof. 

Don't be caught by mere looks and mysterious 
terms. Find out what the roofing is made of. 

And the time to find out is before you buy — it ia 
often costly to find out aftenvard. 

enasco 

the Trinidad-Lake-Asphalt Roofing 



is made of natural asphalt. 

The difference between nat- 
ural asphalt and manufactured 
or artificial "asphalts" is great. 
Natural Trinidad Lake asphalt 
contains natural oils which give 
it lasting life. They are sealed 
ill Genasco and stay there to 
defend it permanently against 
rain, sun, wind, heat, and cold. 

Artificial asphalts are resid- 
ual products. Same way with 

The Kant-leak Kleet is tile lasting ' 
naiMeaki. and docs away wjlh unsightly < 

Ask your dealer for either Genasco mineral or smooth surface roofings with 
Kant-leak Kleets packed in the roll. Fully guaranteed. Write (or the Good Rool 
Guide Book and samples. 

THE BARBER ASPHALT PAVING COMPANY 



coal tar. They are mi.xed with 
oils which makes them pliable 
for a while, but the oils evapo- 
rate quickly when exposed to 
sun and air; they leave the roof- 
ing lifeless, aad it cracks and 
leaks. 

When you get Genasco you 
can be sure of roofing that lasts. 
And roofing that lasts is the 
only kind worth having. 

'aterproof fastening for $eams — prevents 




New York 



PHILADELPHIA 
San Francisco 



Chicago 



The Use op Lower Case Letters and of Favorable Length of 
Line. Reading matter made legible and more likely both to 
attract and to hold the reader 's attention. 



printed matter is not seen at once and as a whole 
by the eye. Nor are the separate letters each fix- 
ated in succession, nor are the successive words 
even examined one by one. The eye fixates 

180 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

three or four points in reading the line, these 
points falling where they may — now in the middle 
of a word, now at the beginning or end, now be- 
tween two words. When the printing is legible a 
given line thus requires few movements for the 
comprehension of the words — a few fixations will 
cover the whole of the line. But when the print- 
ing is difficult to read clearly, the separate letters 
or words difficult to discriminate from each other, 
more fixations are required, and these extra fixa- 
tions mean strain and fatigue. The most comfor- 
table length of line, for ordinary printing, is found 
to be about three and one-half inches. 

2. Appropriate Spacing of Letters, Words and 
Lines. — The spacing used should indicate the 
natural unities of the material presented. Thus 
the space between letters making up a word 
should be less than the width of the letters them- 
selves, while the space between adjacent words 
should be greater than either of these two dis- 
tances. The space between sentences should be 
somewhat greater still. If a number of lines are 
intended to belong together as a unit or para- 
graph, the spacing between the various lines 
should be somewhat less than the width of the 
lines themselves (as measured by the height of 
the letters). If this rule is not followed, the space 

181 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



between paragraphs should be then increased, in 
order to suggest the unity of the paragraphs. In- 




FRANKLIN AUTOMOBILES ARE MADE IN FIVE CHASSIS SIZES. 
TWO "FOURS' AND THREE -SIXES', WITH THIRTEEN' SViXES 
OF OPEN AND ENCLOSED BODIES. THE EQUIPMES'T OF ALL 
OPEN TYPE BODIES INCLUDES WIND SHIELD AND TOP 
PRICES ARE F. O. B. FACTORY. 

25-HORSE POU'EK. FOIjR OXl.\nEr( .MfillCL G TOURING CAR. S1W«1 
MODEL G RUNABOLT. l.S^HORSF. POWF.R. FOUR rYLISDFK. Sln.V. 
SIXCYLINDER. SO-HOR.SUfOWtR MnDUU M. S»W F' iR TCiURISG 
CAR. TORI'EDO-l'liAETO.M OR ROADSTLR. 



FRANKLIN COMMERCIAL CARS INCLUDE PNF.I MATIC-TIRED TRUCKS. 
LIGHT DELIVERY WAGONS. PATROLS, AM6ULANCLS. OMNIBUSES 
AND TAXIC.ABS. 

BEAUTY OF DESIGN, LUXURIOUS RIDING. LIGHT WEIGHT. 
GREAT TIRE ECONOMY, ARE DISTINGUISHING FRANKLIN 
FEATURES. THE MOST NOTABLE FEATL^RE HOWE\'ER. IS 
THE AIR-COOLED MOTOR AND RECENT IMPRO\ EMENTS HAVE 
MADE IT THE MOST REMARKABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AUTO- 
MOBILE MOTOR DESIGN. WHEN WRITING FOR OUR NEW 
CATALOGUE ASK ALSO FOR. "THE FR.-\NKL1N ENGINE-. 

FRANKLIN AUTOMOBILE COMPANY 

SYR,\CUiSE N Y 



Illegibility Resulting erom the Exclusive Use of Capital 
Letters in Reading Matter Designed to Hold the Reader's 
Attention. 

dentation of paragraphs and even of every other 
line in the printed matter is found to facilitate the 
process of reading. 

3. We have already seen that we tend to find 
182 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

meaning in the tops rather than in tlio bases of 
things. This is particularly true in reading 




In all sections 
/Ae result the same 



Cfean.£V£N Heal 
at LEAST Cost 



M^WMI^WWM^ 



u 



NDER a/icondltiooa and in all secHoas, Under- Following Ihe municipal eiamrle of Mlnoeapolls 

'.■» ore happily the same — c/ean. In heating her sheiter houses, New York has alsc 

fn beat at ic»it pombla cost. Just imagine Instiled Underfeed boilers la Zoological Garder 

dtiog a tea-room bouse In MIchigaa for Stb. Buildings, because Underfeed heat is cAcdpesfaiK 



A saving of one-half to two-thirds of coal bills each year is assured 6y 



BecK-miuamson 



Underfeed 



HEATING 1? WARM AIR U STEAM-HOT WATER 

SYSTEMS rURNACES-I) OILERS 




Sai>5 Coupon Thd^y 

SjIVE 

CoqWUL 



cWnilAMSON CO, 306 W. Fu'lh Sfrett, Ciacinud, Ohio 

""underfeed isiSf't^^oisS"*- -• 



Illegibility and Strain Are Produced by Too Great Variety 
OF Type Faces, Interrupted Lines and Ineffective Spac- 
ing. All of these make rhythmical movements and adjust- 
ments impossible. 



printed matter. The eye tends to follow the up- 
per part of the line of letters, and the upper parts 
of the type faces are the parts which show variety 
and differentiation as between the different let- 

183 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



ters. Partly for this reason the "lower case" let- 
ters are more easily perceived and read than are 



^l^^lalbminirauerpmio 



^^ ^}^M^J-.% 




Of ii,ur-.ilou< s;in:-!i,-ity_ ,„„1 nccomph^liniL-nt : .1 iii«Iiai-.i.n Lii:,liliiij,- 
you i.> r.jpi...Uici. |,liolo(;r.i!.hic.illy, eytry siibtltly of .in artist's stjlc.— or, 
to read into tile lines your own interpretation of the comi)0>er's meaning-; 

Tlie.listinaiw charncter of llie B.ildu nl 'I'inno e\™!e,l a " Mayer ' ..f 

l)arlKulir Slope and refinement: one capjblc of/. ," i Ml.-itnii; Bi.ltlwin-tone. 

l)aW>e,n playcr-mtihani-m is iIk mate sU.l'.; -.he l;.,;,p.vin i'iano. 

Tile result is "a ! ■ : : ^ , :■ r s 

jlhisioueon.plele. 



Sfifialbinifompang 



Illustrating the Ease of Reading and Feeling of Relaxation 
Produced by the Use of Lower Case Letters and by the 
Presence of Appropriate Spacing. 

capital letters. Franklin Automobile Company's 
advertisement illustrates the difficulty of reading 
printed matter composed entirely of capitals. In 
the case of the Peck- Williamson Company's ad- 

184 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

vertisement the illegibility is also partly a matter 
of faulty spacing. The Baldwin Company's ad- 
vertisement combines the ease of ''lower case" 
letters with favorable and appropriate spacing. 
It also shows the ease with which the "lower 
case" letters are read. 

4. Ease of reading is interfered with by too 
great a variety of type faces. Thus the ' ' Under- 
feed" advertisement is most illegible, partly be- 
cause of the lack of unity and organization, but 
largely also because the thirty different kinds of 
letters and type faces occurring on a single page 
call for excessive and uncomfortable changes in 
adjustment at irregular intervals. One of the 
things which most facilitates easy reading is the 
possibility of falling into rhythmical habits of eye 
movement across the page and back again, and 
rhythmical changes of adjustment of the optical 
apparatus from moment to moment. 

5. A fifth factor of importance is the fact that 
not all type faces of the same size are equally 
legible. The type faces which happen to have 
been most used in printed advertisements turn 
out, under experimental conditions, to be the least 
legible of a large group of faces and styles which 
were studied. The table on page 187 gives the 
legibility of each of nine different faces, lower 

185 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

case letters only, when these letters occur grouped 
as in words. The legibility was measured by de- 
termining the maximum distance, in daylight il- 
lumination, at which the letters could be cor- 
rectly identified. Each letter of the alphabet was 
tested 12 times, twice by each of 6 observers, and 
the results of the 26 letters were averaged to give 
the final measure of the type face as a whole. 
The measures in the table give the number of 
centimeters at which the given type face can, on 
the average, be read. All letters used w^ere what 
are known as 10 point letters, the faces all being 
Eoman, no bold or italic faces being used. Tables 
for upper ease letters and for lower case letters, 
for 16 different faces, the letters occurring both 
in groups and in isolation, may be found in an 
article by Roethlein in the American Journal of 
Psychology of January, 1912. Legibility was 
found to vary little with the form of the type, but 
to depend chiefly on the size, width of line, and 
amount of white space exposed between the let- 
ters. The faces differ less when the letters are 
grouped than they do when the letters are ob- 
served in isolation. And it must be said here that 
even these measurements are by no means com- 
plete statements of the legibility of the type faces 
when used in printing, because much of our read- 

186 



FEELING TONE OF CONTENT 

iiig is done, not by perceiving the separate let- 
ters wliicli make np the words, but very largely 
by recognizing the words as wholes, by means of 
their characteristic ''word forms." 

-, „ Order of Legibilityi 

1 ype t ace ^^ distance 

News Gothic 1G6 

Gushing Old Style 165 

Century Old Style 162 

Cheltenham Wide 159 

Century Expanded 159 

Scotch Roman 151 

Bullfinch 150 

Caslon 149 

Gushing Monotype 144 

Illustrations of these faces may be found in many manuals of 
reference and data books used by printers and advertising men. 

6. A final factor which may be mentioned as 
contributing toward relaxation in reading printed 
matter is the background on which the letters 
occur. A maximum brightness difference between 
background and type makes for easy perception. 
When colored background or type is used, the 
same rule holds, for it is not the difference in 
color as such, but the difference in the brightness 
values of the colors used which is effective. We 
have already had occasion, when discussing con- 
trast as an attention device, to explain the greater 
attention value of black on white, as contrasted 
with white on black, and to point out that we are 

187 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

not concerned there with a real difference in legi- 
bility. There is some difficulty in reading printed 
matter which does not differ sufficiently from the 
brightness of the background on which it appears. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE THIRD TASK: FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

Clearly the work of an appeal does not stop 
with attracting attention or even with holding it 
until the copy is read. Rival appeals will be 
operating, and, if they are at all effective, will 
have a certain persistence in the consciousness of 
the reader. Evidently an essential function is 
that of being able to so impress the reader that 
in a later moment, when there is need felt for an 
article of the general type, this particular brand 
will suggest itself as the first of its kind. This 
recurrence of a previous idea we call a recollec- 
tion Now, ideas do not spring up spontaneously 
in the mind. So far as we can see, an idea is 
always introduced by virtue of its connection with 
a preceding thought. If in a moment of need the 
specific name of an article designated to fill that 
need is thought of, this happens because that 
particular name has been, as we say, associated, 
linked up with the situation of need more firmly 
than any other name for a similar article. This 

189 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

dominance of ideas is what we are concerned 
with in the psychology of association. Ideas oc- 
cur by virtue of previous connections, and these 
connections are determined by definite laws, can 
be brought about and facilitated by specific de- 
vices, or weakened by failure to conform to these 
rules. 

We shall be better able to understand the laws 
of association by knowing something of the ner- 
vous processes on which they depend. Associa- 
tion takes place when nervous energy from one 
center flows out into related centers, causing a 
corresponding related consciousness. This over- 
flowing of energy must take place along a nervous 
pathway, and this pathway must be formed in the 
nervous tissue before the exchange is direct. The 
general rule is that energy radiates out in all 
directions from a center so long as all the pos- 
sible paths have equal resistance. Now, if two 
adjacent centers should discharge at the same 
moment, there would be a pathway between them 
which would be doubly excited, and hence its re- 
sistance would be lowered. Thus suppose three 
processes. A, B, C, to have occurred at the same 
time. Such a pathway will be at once formed be- 
tween the centers corresponding to these proc- 
esses. Whenever either of the three occurs at a 

190 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

later moment it will tend to excite the centers 
corresponding to each of the others. Every ele- 
ment thus tends to bring up again the ivhole of 
which it ivas previously a part. Thus the sight of 
either of the three words, "Company," "Bos- 
ton " or " Rubber ' ' will tend to remind the reader 
of the whole phrase, "Boston Rubber Company." 
Three primary laws may be laid down here: 

1. Every nervous current leaves traces of its 
pathway. 

2. This trace facilitates the passage of sub- 
sequent impulses over the same pathway. 

3. Such a pathway tends to drain off energy 
from other centers which may be active 
only in a random way. 

This process of linkage between the two ideas 
such as "Boston" and "Rubber" is what we 
mean by association. 

PRINCIPLES OF CONNECTION 

There are two fundamental principles of asso- 
ciation which advertisements persistently and 
flagrantly violate. In natural thinking there are 
two laws that control the play of our ideas. Both 
laws are true in general. But in order for the 

191 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

advertiser to be effective, he must set one of these 
laws against the other. 

1. The first law is that ive tend habitually to 
think from particular to general. If I hear or 
read *'Ingersoll" I at once think '* watch," the 
general class of which the ''Ingersoll" is but a 
particular. If I hear ''Rambler" I think ''bi- 
cycle," "Ditson" — "saws," "Maydole" — "ham- 
mers, ' ' etc. Now, this is a perfectly natural ten- 
dency, but it is of no use to the advertiser, who 
wants us, not so much to think "watch" when we 
hear "Ingersoll," as to think "Ingersoll" when 
we need a watch, "Cluett" when we need a shirt, 
"Burns" when the general idea "coal" is in the 
mind. That is, in order to attain his end, the ad- 
vertiser must force us to violate a fundamental 
law of thinking and to go not from "shirt" to its 
class "garment," but down to a particular shirt 
as "Cluett." 

Now, the strangest part of it all is that the 
average advertisement not only fails to realize 
this necessity, but even works against itself by 
failing to recognize the second general law, the 
forward law. 

2. We tend to think forivard rather than hack- 
ward. Associations tend to take their original 
direction and have only little influence in the 

192 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

reverse direction. You cannot tell me without 
some reflection wliat letter comes before the let- 
ter ''I" in our alphabet. When you can, you will 
find that you have recalled it by starting with 
* ' A " and going fonvard. From ' ' H " to " I " is a 
perfectly natural transition, but from '*I" to 
'*H" is a violation of the law. Similarly you can 
tell me much more quickly last names of men with 
given first names than you can the first names of 
a row of last names. The same is true 'with a 
line of poetry. The first word calls up the whole 
line, but the last word, although it has previously 
existed in consciousness along with the preced- 
ing words, does not tend to call them up to any- 
thing like the same degree. Subsequent impulses 
tend not only to follow old pathways, but they 
tend to follow them in the direction of the original 
connection. So if I hear "George" I tend at 
once to think "Washington." But if I hear 
"Washington," I do not go back to "George," 
but forward to "monument," "square," 
"bridge," etc. 

The reason for this first principle is simply 
that nervous energy tends to spread out from the 
centers of origin into all related or connected cen- 
ters, thus calling into play the whole class. The 
reason for the second law is not clear, but we 

193 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

may be sure that it lias some stable basis in the 
structure of the nervous pathways. 

Here, then, we have a principle which can be 
employed to counteract the tendency of principle 1. 




A UNIQUE HIND OF GIFT 

hii L n u t 1 C r Ima 'ir(h^i vedJmgi 

anj ol i (. i 1 n t li Jf 1 ri' r uuclirjn o 

Family Portraits in 

gra or t- p ^^ t-«dy n ao^vsh onm 1 



S5e-(£opreu^mt5l 



Curtis (Si, Cameron 



iiosion 



Forward Eeasoning — Correct Arrangement 



We tend to think from particular to general, 
other things being equal. But, if in reading an 
advertisement, our thought has been repeatedly 
led from a general to a given particular, by the 
composer putting the general term first and fol- 
lowing it by the particular, the second law is able 

194 



FIXING THE BIPRESSION 

to offset the first. The general rule slioiikl be, 
then : 




'.-ire the accepted standard of, art reproduction. 
They rank with art museums in their influence 
for good taste in pictures. Gold medal from the 
French Government. Over a thousand subjects 
to choose from in American Art. They make the 

BEST OF GIFTS 

Illustrated Catalog, 320 cuts (practically a 

handbook of American Art), sent for 25 cents: 

stamps accepted'. This cost- deducted from pur- 
chase of the Prints them-selres. 50 cents to 
820.00. At art stores,' or sent on approval. 
I'xIubiMons for schools, clubs, fhurches ^tt 
I iiinil\ I'oitiMif* done 01 pmatt? irder ir in 
(linucMt-i f. ! f« trit' p!,s piiLtop-raphs n ori i->i 

CORTIS & CAMERON •«,?£,!^'5:fii?B0ST0H 



Backward Keasoning — Incorrect Arrangement. The effective 
method is to present first the name of the commodity, or the 
idea, need, occasion, which shall be in the reader 's mind on 
subsequent occasions. Follow this by the name of the partic- 
ular brand, the firm name, the trade mark, the slogan, etc., 
which you desire him to think of at the moment when he 
thinks of the commodity or feels the particular need. 



Place first the general class, the purpose or use 
to which the article can be put, the word which 

195 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

will be in consciousness in the moment of need. 
Thus, ''the best of Christmas gifts." 

Place next the name of the article or brand 
which you desire to connect with the need, or 
which you desire to make the standard specimen 
for the general class in question. See the Copley 
prints advertisements. 

If, instead, the first word in the advertisement 
were "Copley prints," and only later came the 
words, "best Christmas gift," the idea of 
"prints" would come to remind the reader of 
"Christmas," but when he found himself think- 
ing over the "best gift" to purchase there would 
be no particularly strong inclination to think of 
"Copley prints." 

It seems to the writer that no law is violated 
oftener than this in current advertising, and that 
the law is no mere subtlety but an important ele- 
ment in the general efficiency of copy. In fact, 
the law may be conformed to so fully that the 
specific brand may come to be synonymous, in the 
mind of the public, with the general class or use. 
When this point is reached it becomes necessary 
to teach not association but dissociation. Thus 
the Kodak copy must now teach people that not 
all cameras are Kodaks. The law of association 
worked so thoroughly here that it now operates 

196 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

against its original purpose. The case nicely il- 
lustrates the fallacy of relying solely on any one 
principle and disregarding others. 

The chief method of fixing an impression re- 
ceived from an advertisement is by connecting it 
up with the stimulus in which the need for some 
such article will be felt. There are various ways 
in which this connection may be made. 



I. LAWS OF ORIGINAL CONNECTION 

1. Contiguity. — This is perhaps the most fre- 
quent cause of association. Things perceived 
side by side, either in space or time, tend to sug- 
gest each other, on recurrence of either. Thus 
''Brooklyn Bridge" calls up "East River." 

If a place of business is announced as being 
''one block from Grand Central" or "near Her- 
ald Square," the thought or sight of Grand Cen- 
tral or Herald Square will tend to revive, by as- 
sociation, the name, business, and location of the 
advertised store. 

2. Similarity. — Things bearing a resemblance 
to each other tend to call each other up in con- 
sciousness. They do this because certain ele- 
ments in the two facts are identical, hence tend 
to call up both wholes of which they have previ- 

197 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

oiisly been a part. Thus one person reminds 
one of another because the two have identi- 
cally shaped noses. One biscuit reminds one 
of another because the color of the box is the 
same. The Jungfrau reminds us of Pike's Peak; 
Moxine reminds us of Moxie, and will take unto 
itself any atmosphere of desirability that Moxie 
has developed. Similarly Yale locks will sell Yale 
bicycles. The general sentiment seems to be 
against the use of such similarity appeal as is 
involved in the reference to substitutes and imi- 
tations. Obviously this is only from the point of 
view of the original article. If you happen to be 
engaged in the manufacture of substitutes the 
more of the original atmosphere you can borrow, 
the better. 

3. Tlie third basis of association is emotional 
congruity. This simply means that the feelings 
aroused by two different experiences are the same, 
and whenever one comes, the feeling produced 
tends to call up the other also. Thus falling from 
a trapeze once reminded me vividly of a time 
when I was chased by an Indian with a tomahawk. 
The importance of the aesthetic factors of an ad- 
vertisement comes here strongly into prominence. 
Not only do pleasing advertisements attract us, 
and hold us, but we in turn hold them. 

198 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

Furthermore, any experience with strong feel- 
ing tone is better retained than indifferent facts. 
This is of especial importance in appeals over the 
short circuit, appeals to feelings and emotions for 
the sake of vividness. 

Connection tuith pleasurable emotions fixates 
associations and tends to lead to action. Appeals 
through sympathy, loyalty, interest, civic pride, 
local atmosphere, through excitement over cur- 
rent events, through prevalent ideas, crazes, de- 
sires, movements, etc., will all tend to be more 
or less successful, though transiently so. Such 
advertising must keep constantly changing in tone 
and direction, and it is both difficult and expensive 
to ''keep one's finger on the public pulse" closely 
and delicately enough to be able to use these so- 
cial currents to advantage. When the local ex- 
citement has blown over and the incident tends 
to be forgotten, the article advertised in connec- 
tion with it tends to be forgotten along with it. 

A safer plan is to utilize the stable and perma- 
nent emotions more or less common to all times 
and places. Thus a powerful basis of appeal and 
spring of conduct, for certain kinds of commodi- 
ties, is the religious emotion. It is reported that 
a book entitled "Wonders of Nature" fell flat on 
the market. The title was changed to "Wonders 

199 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

of Nature and Architecture of God," and a sec- 
ond edition was at once called for. 

n. PRINCIPLES OF EEVIVAIi 

The foregoing are called the principles of con- 
nection because they have to do with the process 
by which an association is originally produced. 
But the fact that a connection has been made does 
not guarantee the reproduction of the pair. For 
several ideas might each have been connected with 
the stimulus, and they could not all be revived at 
once. There is, then, a further question, viz., 
how, granted a connection once made, can we be 
sure that one associate will come rather than some 
other? 

In answer to this question we fiiid a group of 
principles which we may call the principles of re- 
vival as distinguished from the principles of con- 
nection. The first four are the most important. 
They are, in order of their relative strength: 

1. Frequency. — Other things being equal, the 
association most often repeated will be the strong- 
est connection. '* Theodore" suggests '* Roose- 
velt," rather than ''Sturm," ''Cousins," or any 
other associate, simply because it has occurred 
more frequently than any other. Every repeti- 

200 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

tion strengthens the connection, just as every rab- 
bit hopping through the snow emphasizes and de- 
fines the path of the rabbit which passed that 
way before. This is the principle of repetition in 
advertising. Repetition has both a memory and 
response value, as we shall see later. In experi- 
ments in the laboratory, counting "normal asso- 
ciation," or that which results after unemphasized 
reading, as 26 per cent., repetition gives an aver- 
age value of 64 per cent., nearly three times the 
memory value of unrepeated material. So among 
practical men, repetition is considered an effec- 
tive, albeit an expensive, method of securing pub- 
licity. As we have already seen, different kinds 
of material vary somewhat with respect to their 
attention value in repetition, relevant words in- 
creasing, all cuts decreasing, and irrelevant words 
remaining on a level. But so far as memory 
goes, repetition, if supported by attention, always 
strengthens the impression. 

2. TJie second factor in relative strength is 
vividness. Vividness may be brought about in 
many ways — through sheer intensity, through sur- 
prise, strong attention, interest, or through con- 
nection with some emotion, as fear, hope, envy, 
etc. The more vivid the impression, the longer 
it lasts. Strong colors, enormous signs, humor- 

201 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

oiis associations, motor responses such as clip- 
ping a coupon, sending an inquiry, etc., are merely 
varied ways of producing vividness. Compared 
with the normal value, 26 per cent., vividness 
gives an experimental average of 52 per cent, effi- 
ciency. 

Closely related to vividness, and being, perhaps, 
only special forms of it are : 

3. Recency, with an average value of 50 per 
cent., and 

4, Primacy, with a value of 46 per cent. 
When all other factors are equal, we can be 

sure that the first association will predominate. 
At least the first and last impressions have the 
advantage. We have already discussed this in the 
section on "position." 

The Curve of Forgetting. — Another important 
point has to do with the most effective distribu- 
tion of a series of appeals which are to be ad- 
dressed, one after the other, to the same person. 
Circulars, follow-up literature, educational cam- 
paigns, etc., often afford instances of this method 
of appeal. The ordinary method is to distribute 
the successive appeals according to the calendar 
divisions of time, as every week or ten days, 
every two weeks, etc., until all the appeals have 
been presented. This method proceeds on the as- 

202 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

sumption that the reader's memory and interest 
are controlled by the movements of the celestial or 
terrestrial bodies, while the fact is that memory 
follows laws of its own, regardless of the conven- 
tional and calendar divisions of the passage of 
time. When a given appeal is addressed to me, 
I straightway proceed to forget it. But I do not 
forget it at a uniform rate, so much being for- 
gotten on each succeeding day until all is forgot- 



TiiE Curve of Forgetting 

ten. Instead I forget the material that has been 
seen or learned, according to a definite ''curve of 
forgetting," a curve which descends rapidly at 
first and then more slowly. The larger propor- 
tion of the material is forgotten in the first day 
or so. After that a constantly decreasing amount 
is forgotten on each succeeding day. 

The height of the curve above the base line here 
indicates the amount remembered, the figures 

203 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

along the base indicating the units of time elapsed 
since first learning the material. During the first 
ten units as much is forgotten as during all the 
remaining twenty-five. Of course, the amounts 
and time units in the accompanjdng curve are 
purely arbitrary. Their real value will depend on 
the quality and the quantity of the material 
learned and on the time interval chosen. But the 
form of the curve shows clearly that by far the 
greater number of repetitions should come at the 
beginning of the campaign, when the tendency to 
forget is strong. When the maximum of retention 
is then reached the later repetitions may be 
farther and farther apart. 

It ought to be obvious at once that the effective 
distribution of a series of appeals will be a dis- 
tribution which conforms to this curve of forget- 
ting. The first appeal having been presented, the 
second should follow close upon it, the third at a 
somewhat greater interval from the second, the 
fourth a somewhat longer time after the third, 
etc., the intervals growing longer and longer un- 
til the series is completed. This massing of the 
appeals at the earlier portion of the total period 
will result in reinforcement of the first appeal at 
the crucial moments, the moments when, unless 
thus reinforced, they tend to be quickly forgot- 

204 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

ten, thus leaving the later appeals to appear on 
what is practically barren ground. That is to 
say, the effective distribution of a series of ap- 
peals addressed to the same person will not fol- 
low a calendar order such as the following: 



1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


Initial 


After One 


After Two 


After Three 


After Four 


Appeal 


Week 


Weeks 


Weeks 


Weeks 



but will follow a distribution based on the curve 
of forgetting, as : 



1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


Initial 


After 


After 


After 


After 


Appeal 


2 Days 


5 Days 


10 Days 


20 Days 



Any one may convince himself of the existence 
of this law by simply trying to memorize a given 
amount of material of any sort, by distributing 
his learning periods or repetitions according to 
the two plans. This law seems to me to be one of 
the most important results of the experimental 
study of memory, and one which the practical 
man has been surprisingly slow in appropriating. 

MINOR DEVICES 

Further minor devices for aiding the memory 
value are : Ingenuity, rhyme, rhythm, and motor 
reinforcement. These are really nothing more 
than forms of vividness, but are distinct enough 
from each other to merit separate mention. 

205 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPOxXSE 

1. Ingenuity. — Just as novelty attracts atten- 
tion and holds it, a curious, bizarre name, pack- 
age, trade mark is likely to stick. Such words as 
"Uneeda Biscuit," "Keen Kutter," "Rough on 
Rats," "Ever Stick," "No Smellee," stick in 
one's consciousness. The merchant with 

Street No. 33 
Telephone No. 33 
Letters in name, 33 
Price of suit, $33 

could easily make up an ingenious and impressive 
advertisement (see Scott). But to be effective 
under this heading a name must be really in- 
genious, not merely a hybrid'. 

2. Rhyme and alliteration are other things that 
attract attention and are easily remembered be- 
cause they suggest in themselves a single unified 
scheme on which to hang the separate facts. 

3. Closely related also is rhythm, which re- 
duces the learning of a given amount of material 
about 40-50 per cent., by lending motor control 
and further means of association with movements. 
The writer once tried to teach the English alpha- 
bet to a kindergarten class of German children. 
Several days' effort was unsuccessful. At last 
the idea occurred to set the letters to the tune of 

206 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

''Yankee Doodle" and sing tliem with tlie class. 
The alphabet was learned in a single recitation 
period. Similarly the names of things sung in 
rhythm or rhyme on the advertising cards tend 
to be retained. This does not mean, however, that 
the goods thus sung will necessarily be sold. It is 
one thing to make a commodity known as ''worthy 
of song" and quite another thing to make it 
known as "worth buying." 

4. Motor reinforcement is one of the important 
aids to memory. Try to memorize a verse of 
poetry. You will at once find yourself making 
sets of movements which are designed to aid you 
in retaining the material; you speak the words to 
yourself, moving the lips meanwhile, or you write 
the lines on paper or accompany the learning 
process by tapping the toes, swinging the body 
to and fro, nodding the head, etc. Just as clench- 
ing the fist or gripping a piece of wood re- 
inforces the leap or brace which one is about to 
give, so the performance of a motor process in 
connection with an idea tends strongly to impress 
that idea in memory. You remember the thing 
you have done yourself much more easily than 
the things you have passively observed others 
performing — the words you write much more eas- 
ily than the sentence you merely read. 

207 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Herein lies the chief importance of invitations 
to clip out the advertisement, to draw the figure, 
to write for information or catalogues, to tear off 
and preserve or return coupons, etc. If the 
reader can be induced to carry out any such ac- 
tion in connection with the advertisement, the 
memory value of the copy will be tremendously 
enhanced. And this follows, not only because 
more time is spent on the advertisement and more 
thought given to it, but largely because the motor 
response reinforces the mental impression. 

Obviously the success of such devices will usu- 
ally depend on the ease with which the action can 
be carried out. The ideal would be the longest 
act which the average reader would carry out 
without the sense of lost time. 

MEMORABILITY OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF FACTS 

An important factor in putting an article on 
the market or in keeping it there is that of having 
a trade mark, emblem, seal, design, or name, by 
which the article may always be remembered, 
asked for, recognized and recommended. Herein 
enter in large measure the j)receding factors of 
rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and ingenuity. But 
another highly important factor which is little 
recognized is that of the memorability of different 

208 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

kinds of material. In selecting a mark by which 
goods, designed for popular consumption, are to 
be known, it is of real value, for instance, to know 
that persons and faces are more easily remem- 
bered than objects, and objects more easily than 
actions; that fortn is more easily remembered and 
recognized than color, although colors are more 
accurately remembered than numbers. More 
numbers can be remembered than colors, but they 
are likely to be wrongly remembered or remem- 
bered as existing in a false order or position. 

In a carefully conducted experiment in the 
writer's laboratory the investigator measured the 
accuracy with which 40 persons in an audience 
could observe and remember for a period of three 
days the various features of an elaborately 
planned performance which was carried on in 
their presence. The reliability of each witness 
was measured, along with the accuracy with which 
different sorts of facts were reported. 

The individual reliability ranged from 38 per 
cent, to 82 per cent, accuracy, with an average of 
62 per cent. It is important to note, then, that 
the ordinary witness observes only about 60 per 
cent, of the features of an event to which his at- 
tention is already directed. That is to say, 40 
per cent, of the advertisements and 40 per cent. 

209 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

of each advertisement will, on the average, pass 
unnoticed. Moreover, only about 2 per cent, of 
readers normally see advertisements. (See 
Strong.) This gives 2 per cent, of 60 = about 1 
per cent, efficiency. Which features, then, will 
most likely be observed and retained correctly? 
The table for this experiment, indicating the 
relative accuracy with which different sorts of 
facts are reported when direct questions are 
asked concerning them, runs as follows: 

TABLE X 

Acctiracy 

1. Mere presence of things 97% 

2. Number of people 65% 

3. Space relations, form, etc 58% 

4. Condition of objects 48% 

5. Order of events 35% 

6. Color 26% 

7. Size and quantity 22% 

8. Sounds 10% 

9. Time (duration) 8% 

10. Actions (strong attention value but not ac- 
curately reported) 

The importance of these facts in selecting trade 
marks, packages, names, slogans, and points of 
emphasis for advertising purposes is constantly 
disregarded. 

Another experiment was designed to measure 
the relative memory value of cuts as compared 
with that of reading matter. For this experi- 

210 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

merit proof slips of advertisements designed and 
kindly fnrnished by Will Phillip Hooper were 
used. The advertisements were uniform in size 
and style, and all contained about equal amounts 
of cut and reading matter. Twenty-five of these 
advertisements w^ere examined by each of the ob- 
servers, who w^ere then requested to select from a 
collection of ninety advertisements those which 
they had previously seen. Of the twenty-five orig- 
inal cards, fifteen were present unchanged. Of the 
remaining ten, five contained the same cut, but the 
text had been changed, while five retained the 
original text but bore a totally new cut. The idea 
was to discover which of these two changes, of 
cut or of text, would attract more attention, and 
which would most disturb the memory of the ob- 
server. 

The following table resulted, showing: (1) 
that the change in the cut is most frequently de- 
tected, thus that the cut has greater attention 
value; (2) that cards with changed cuts are re- 
membered by the text more often than cards with 
changed text are remembered by the cut, that is 
that the memory value of text is higher than that 
of cuts; (3) that the combination of the original 
cut with original text has much higher memory 

211 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

value than that of either of the two mutilated 
forms. 

TABLE XI 



Normal ads recognized 77% 

Ads with right text but wrong cut 56% 

Ads with right cut but wrong text 43% 

Substitution of cut detected 26% 

Substitution of text detected 17% 



TKADE MARKS 

In the same laboratory a study has been made 
of the relative attention and memory value of 
different geometric forms, such as are commonly 
used as trade marks. Fifty such designs were 
chosen, of the same general size and same color. 
Experiments on twenty-five observers showed 
these forms to differ widely in the respect tested. 
The values range from 28 per cent, to 92 per 
cent. The following plate gives the list of these 
forms and also the percentage of accuracy with 
which each was recognized when a group of fif- 
teen previously displayed was selected from a set 
of fifty which included the original fifteen and 
thirty-five strange forms. The general principle 
suggested by this experiment is that those forms 
are best remembered to which specific names can 
be given, as "star," "crescent," "crown," etc. 

212 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 







^y ,u 6V ^* ^** *•*> 60 60 




^^ ^ '"^ ^-6 ^"^ s-t, ^x r^^ 



H-9 W^^^ V!-V 








Eelative Attention Value of 50 Geometbical Fokms 
VICAKIOUS SACKinCES IN ADVEKTISING 

The failure to observe the foregoing laws of 
association and memory often leads to what may 
be called "vicarious sacrifice" in advertising. A 
century ago we could consume faster than we 

213 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

could produce. The situation now is frequently 
said to be just the reverse, the advertiser often 
finding it necessary to stimulate consumption. 
He finds it necessary to create a new need, or to 
invest an old need with greater urgency, just as 
Hand Sapolio tried to create an ideal of cleanli- 
ness among people not using soap, or as Sapolio 
created a higher ideal of cleanliness of pots and 
kettles. (See Balmer, p. 34.) 

Once such a demand is created, non-advertised 
articles at once share in the profits. In so far as 
this happens, the w^ork of the advertiser may be 
said to be vicarious; it is a free will offering to 
the non-advertiser. Such sacrifice, however, is 
often due to the advertising. Thus the early Sub- 
w^ay cards of Boston Rubber Company w^ith their 
*'Wet Feet Did It" warnings certainly created a 
greater demand for rubbers in general, but not 
for Boston Rubbers in particular, because this 
particular brand was not carefully associated in 
the mind of the reader with the need. Experi- 
ments which the writer was making with a set of 
seventy-five subway advertisements at the time 
showed clearly the tendency not to notice the 
brand advertised on these cards at all, but to con- 
nect the warnings and general feelings of need 
with a striking card advertising the ''Ever Stick" 

214 



FIXING THE IMPRESSION 

rubber, which, so far as the writer's knowledge 
goes, was a rival product. Since that time these 
cards have been greatly improved. 

In conclusion, we may say that a successful ad- 
vertisement not only attracts and holds attention, 
but in so doing it connects a specific brand or ar- 
ticle with a general need, so that when the general 
need is felt, the action will not be toward such ar- 
ticles in general, but toward this specific brand in 
particular. In the following chapter on provok- 
ing the response we shall seek to analyze still fur- 
ther the ways in which this specific action may be 
brought about. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE FOUETH TASK: PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

After all has been said, the final value of an ap- 
peal depends entirely upon the effectiveness with 
which it leads to the desired specific action. No 
amount of care in framing a solicitation so as to 
catch the eye, to hold attention, and to stick in the 
memory, will be worth the trouble if the reader's 
reaction does not go beyond the appeal itself, and 
include the article which the appeal announces. 
Granted, then, that the first three tasks have been 
adequately performed, what are the principles 
which control the direction, the certainty, and the 
force of the response? 

Obviously there are two cases to be considered 
here. First, the case in which the appeal is ad- 
dressed directly to the life of feeling, impulse 
and instinct — what we have called the short-cir- 
cuit appeal — and, second, the case in which delib- 
eration, comparison and argument are invited — 
the "reason why" appeal by means of the long 
circuit. In the first case there is no conflict or 

216 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

rivalry stirred up in the reader's consciousness; 
there is simply the attempt to present the article 
in such a way as to provoke some firmly grounded 
act of appropriation, to stir up some strong im- 
pulse or keen desire and so to lead to favorable 
action. In the second type conflict is, on the con- 
trary, even encouraged. Selling points, superi- 
orities, advantages, etc., are advanced, and the 
claims of rival commodities deliberately chal- 
lenged. 

It will be difficult to speak in terms of general 
laws here, and yet to remain concrete. Condi- 
tions will vary according to the article, the read- 
er's temperament and need, local influences, 
habits and customs. The result is that this is one 
of the most promising fields for further research 
in applied and practical psychology. Some of the 
experiments that are already in progress in the 
field of advertising will be reported in the chapter 
on the experimental method. But there is a cer- 
tain group of principles which can be clearly 
stated and applied on the basis of what we al- 
ready know of mental processes in the life of ac- 
tion. These we will take up in turn. Our chief 
concern will be with the laws of suggestion and 
with our earlier question concerning the ap- 
propriate use of long and short circuit appeals. 

217 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

DIKECT APPEALS TO PEELING 

Short Circuit Action Without Conflict. — We 
may distinguish two general types of short circuit 
appeal : 

(a) The appeal through command, assertion, 
invitation, either direct or indirect. Such an 
appeal will ow^e its force to the degree to w^hich it 
conforms to the laws of suggestion. At this 
point, then, these laws of suggestion must come in 
for their share of discussion. 

(b) The second type will be the appeal to some 
definite instinct, or other strong and certain form 
of reaction. Success here will depend chiefly on 
the strength and promptness of the instinct to 
which the appeal is made. Here, then, will be the 
place to consider the topic to which we have so 
frequently referred, but as often postponed for 
later discussion, viz., the question of the relative 
strength of the various human instincts, and their 
dependence on such factors as age, sex, class, oc- 
cupation, training, the commodity in question, etc. 

THE NATURE AND LAWS OF SUGGESTION 

No little mystery has come to invest the word 
"suggestion," chiefly because of its constant use 

218 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

by psoudo-scioiitific writers in their attempts to 
develop dramatic interest in the extreme sug- 
gestibility of certain states of drowsiness, ab- 
straction, fatigue and hysteria. But there is no 
more mystery here than there is in any of the 
simple mental processes along the nervous arc. 
The fundamental law is that of ideo-motor ac- 
tion.'^ In the earlier discussion of the nervous 
basis of mental processes, we pointed out the law 
that every sensory impulse has its inevitable mo- 
tor issue. The nervous energy generated or liber- 
ated by a stimulus emerges at the other end of 
the arc in the form of action. This action is usu- 
ally directed toward the stimulus itself, in the 
form of movements of appropriation or rejection. 
Sometimes, however, the response is not so ap- 
parent, when, for instance, it takes the form of 
general bodily attitude, changes in breathing, 
heart beat, gland action, vascular changes, or 
general rigidity or tension of muscles. More- 
over, the strength of the reaction need not be ex- 
actly proportionate to the strength of the stimu- 
lus. Sometimes the energy may be drained off 
into other channels that are active at the time. 



' The psychological reader shoulrl not confuse the law of ideo- 
motor action, as here presented, with the doctrine that the cause 
of a voluntary movement is a kinaesthetic image of that movement. 

219 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

and the value of the response will then be ob- 
scured. Again, the direct response may itself 
drain off energy from other pathways, and its 
strength be relatively increased. 

Closely connected with this law of the inevitable 
motor issue of sensory impulses is a correlate 
law w^hich concerns mental processes that do not 
have an immediate sensory cause. In the section 
on Imagination we have seen that we may have 
ideas and images even when there is no corre- 
sponding activity of the sense organ. These 
processes are then due to what we may call the 
spontaneous activity of the brain centers. This 
spontaneity, however, will only mean independ- 
ence of a corresponding sensory impression. But 
the activity will usually be seen to be caused by 
virtue of the association of the center in ques- 
tion with some other center whose previous activ- 
ity has stirred it up in what seems to be a spon- 
taneous way. Often the activity is due to some 
present sensory impression, which, however, does 
not correspond in character to that of the spon- 
taneous image or idea. Frequently this impres- 
sion is simply a word — the auditory impression 
of syllables spoken or the visual impression of a 
written or printed word. The word center is 
closely associated with the sensory center which 

220 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

is involved when we actually perceive the object 
which the word denotes or means. Hence, activ- 
ity from the word center overflows into the object 
center, and the result is an apparently spontane- 
ous image, picture, or idea of the object or act 
which the word suggests. 

Now these so-called spontaneous nervous 
processes have their tendency to motor issue, just 
as do sensory impulses. Every idea of a situa- 
tion tends to produce movements calculated to 
handle that situation. This happens just because 
the discharge of energy from brain center to 
motor apparatus has become a habit. Constant 
practice has set up ready paths of discharge be- 
tween ideational and motor centers. Thus I do 
not have to deliberately trace out the form of 
these letters as I write. I simply think the word 
and, by fixing my attention on the point of the 
pencil, guide it in straight lines across the page. 
But the letters form themselves. The simple idea 
of the word carries itself out into the act of writ- 
ing it. The interesting and, to the uninitiated, 
mystifying performances of the planchette, the 
Ouija board, the automatic writer, the muscle 
reader, and similar phenomena have been clearly 
shown to be due to this motor issue of conscious 

221 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

or subconscious ideas and images in the mind of 
the experimenter. 

Ideas and images of objects, persons and situa- 
tions tend just as strongly to set up responses 
calculated to adapt the organism to the particular 
object, person or situation thought of. Think 
intently of your cravat, and you will find your- 
self fingering and adjusting it. Concentrate on 
the choice cigar in your pocket, and you will likely 
search at once for the match box. Vividly re- 
call the pleasant languor of a warm bath or the 
tremendous wind currents of lower Broadway and 
you will find yourself either stretching out your 
legs, closing your eyes and reclining in your chair, 
or, as the case, may be, ducking down into your 
coat collar and clutching your hat brim; and the 
more you attend to the idea in mind the more com- 
pletely^ will its motor issue be realized. If you at- 
tend strongly enough you may find the idea 
amounting to an hallucination — that is, you act 
just as you would in the presence of the actual 
object. 

This, then, is the fundamental law of ideo- 
motor action, and the basis of what we sometimes 
call suggestion. Every idea of a function tends 
to realize itself, and ivill do so in so far as it is 
not inhibited by rival ideas or impeded by physi- 

222 



PROVOKING THP: RESPONSE 

cat circumstances. Whatever tends to clarify or 
intensify the image or idea tends to precipitate 
the act. This is what was meant in the fourth 
chapter, when it was said that ''attention is the 
basis of every act of will," An idea, once intro- 
duced into consciousness, derives its ''will 
power," its action strength, from the degree to 
which it can completely dominate consciousness. 
This domination will depend partly on the intrin- 
sic intensity and impulsiveness of the idea, partly 
on the degree to which it is reinforced by inner 
processes — attention, ideal, etc. Other things be- 
ing equal, this power depends on the amount of 
attention the idea receives. 

When such an idea originates more or less di- 
rectly or spontaneously in the mind of the actor, 
we call it an intention, a purpose, an impulse, etc. 
When its origin can be traced further back to 
some more or less obvious external source, a pic- 
ture, a command or an invitation of a second per- 
son, the behavior of another person or group of 
persons, etc., we call it a suggestion. Suggestion, 
then, is no more a mystery than the fact that I 
can speak or write my thoughts, button my coat 
or sharpen my lead pencil at pleasure. But just 
as there are certain laws which experiment and 
general observation show to control the maximum 

223 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

efficiency of voluntary action, so there are certain 
conditions on which the action power of sugges- 
tion depends. We shall enumerate the most im- 
portant of these conditions and illustrate them by 
examples in the field of advertising. 



THE LAWS OF SUGGESTION 

1. Decision is only another name for the final 
outcome of the rivalry of competing ideas. It is, 
then, important, in appealing over the short cir- 
cuit for a specific line of action, not to suggest 
interference, not to suggest an opposing action, 
a substitute, a rival idea. Any such suggestion 
will simply impede the action power of the first 
idea, by inviting comparison and making neces- 
sary a more or less deliberate choice. This will 
immediately involve long circuit response, the di- 
rect appeal will be reduced to "reason why" 
copy, and the original purpose of the suggestion 
will be defeated. It is not necessary to give ex- 
amples of the violation or observance of this law. 

2. The strength of a suggestion will be the 
greater the more the suggestion appears to be of 
spontaneous internal origin. Every one of us is 
predisposed in favor of his own ideas. We in- 
stinctively resist encroachment, domination, ex- 

224 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

ternal control. But we welcome and magnify an 
impulse, a tendency, a line of action that seems 
to have originated in our own bosom. For this 
reason an external suggestion which seeks max- 
imal action power should be addressed to some 
present interest, personal value or universal in- 
stinct. Such appeals are not readily recognized as 
external and foreign. They are readily assimi- 
lated and transformed into personal intentions. 
Two common tendencies of current advertising 
take advantage of this principle. One is the 
tendency to give news interest to advertising 
copy. The advertisement thus easily appears as 
simply an avenue of information, the beseeching 
or the arrogant tones are lost, and the action sug- 
gested seems easily to be a quite natural and mat- 
ter-of-fact intention of the reader. The other 
tendency is the constant use of repetition and 
variation. By these means the particular time 
and place of origin of the suggestion are lost. So 
long as I can say, ' ' This or that suggestion comes 
from this or that advertisement," the appeal re- 
mains external and foreign. But when that same 
appeal has met me in a score of places and in a 
score of forms, the particular source fades into 
an indefinite and apparently universal one, a per- 
fectly familiar one, so familiar, indeed, that the 

225 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

suggestion seems to have been with me all my life, 
it appears to be an idea of my own, a plan which I 
have always harbored, and I am surprised that I 
have delayed its execution so long. The growing 
practice of signing advertising copy must cer- 
tainly work against this second law of suggestion, 
and is hence utterly unsuited for direct appeals, 
though perhaps no impediment to ''reason why" 
copy. The Hand Sapolio crusade began with the 
simple command "Be Clean," expressed in vari- 
ous forms and places. The constant presence of 
this injunction is said to have unconsciously 
raised the standard of personal cleanliness, and 
made a market in the locality for Hand Sapolio. 
Obviously if this crusade had been flagrantly 
conducted, or associated definitely with a given 
signboard or placard, the exhortation would have 
been resented, rather than complied with. 

3. The action power of a suggestion depends, 
among other things, on its actual intrinsic in- 
tensity, force and vigor. The motor response to 
an image is not so strong as that to an actual im- 
pression. But the more an image comes to re- 
semble an impression, the more intense and in- 
sistent it becomes, the stronger becomes the re- 
sponse. Hence the suggestion should be as defi- 
nite, pointed, incisive and vigorous as it can be 

226 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

while yet conforming to the second law. It should 
ring with confidence, certainty and conviction. 
The action suggested should be specific, clear and 
full of necessity. Thos. E. Dockrell, in a 
trenchant essay on this law, has pointed out its 
confirmation in history, literature and business, 
at the same time recognizing the distinction be- 
tween ''domination" and "arrogance" — empha- 
sizing thereby the necessity of conforming to the 
second law as well as to the third. See in this 
connection also Scott's chapter on "The Direct 
Command. ' ' 

4. Suggestion is most active at its positive pole. 
Whenever possible, the human mind works in 
terms of positives rather than negatives, simi- 
larities rather than differences, presences rather 
than absences. Ask a group of men to compare 
two buildings in height, two noises in intensity, 
two towns in size, two men with respect to their 
efficiency. Nine out of ten will tell you which is 
the highest, the loudest, the largest or the ablest. 
Only rarely will you find a man who thinks in 
terms of shortness, faintness, smallness or weak- 
ness. Just as association leads forward more 
strongly than backward, so attention, judgment 
and interest are drawn to the positives, the affirm- 
atives, the similarities of the world. We say 

227 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

things differ in length, strength, importance, not 
in shortness, weakness, insignificance. Even when 
an appeal is couched in negative terms, its posi- 
tive suggestion is more likely to be realized than 
its negative. The Old Covenant with its ''Thou 
shalt not" had to be replaced by the New Cove- 
nant with its simple positive ' ' Thou shalt. ' ' 

Miinsterberg tells a story of an alchemist who 
sold directions for turning eggs into gold. The 
buyer was to hold a pan containing the yolks of a 
dozen eggs, and stir these eggs for half an hour 
without ever thinking of the word ''hippopota- 
mus. ' ' Thousands tried, but none succeeded in re- 
sisting the positive suggestion. The same writer 
continues : ' ' Whether shop girls in a department 
store are advised to ask after every sale 'Do you 
want to take it with you?' or 'Do you want it 
sent?' makes no difference to the feeling of the 
customers, but may mean for the store a differ- 
ence of thousands for the delivery service." 

5. The strength of a suggestion will depend 
also on the degree of attention under which it 
operates. This law follows naturally from the 
second and third laws in which the importance of 
intensity and clearness was pointed out. If you 
will recall the enumeration of the laws and re- 
sults of attention you will remember that the 

228 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

processes attended to becomes both clearer and 
more intense than it would otherwise be. And 
since intensity and clearness influence to so 
marked a degree the action-power of a suggestion, 
the importance of attention is obvious. 

Even when the suggestion is subliminal, that 
is, below the threshold of consciousness, it pos- 
sesses action power, and this action power will 
depend on the variability or constancy of the at- 
tention given to the general field in which the 
stimulus occurs. The writer has often been told 
by active copy men that the psychological subtle- 
ties in advertising are a mere pastime, since the 
genuine power of advertisements comes from the 
unconscious influence which they exert on the 
reader's mind rather than on any conscious men- 
tal process set up. It need only be said that in 
so far as there are such things as unconscious 
suggestions they operate according to the same 
laws as do suggestions of which we are keenly 
aware. These laws of attention, perception, in- 
terest, association, memory, choice and action ap- 
ply to both with equal rigor. 

One of the writer's students has recently per- 
formed experiments which clearly illustrate the 
dependence of even unconscious suggestion on de- 
gree of attention. It is a well-known fact that 

229 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

the addition of wing lines pointing in opposite di- 
rections may change the apparent length of a 
base line. Thus the base line in A seems longer 





than in B, although they are really of the same 
length. Practically everybody gets this illusion, 
which depends upon the strength of some sugges- 
tion coming from the added wings. Take the 
wings away and the lines at once appear equal. 
What now would be the result if the wings were 





really present, but were drawn so faintly that the 
observer, at the distance at which he is placed 
in the experiment, cannot detect them, but sees 
only the broad strong base line? The suggestion 
afforded by the wings is present on the retina, but 
too faint and weak to come to consciousness. The 
experiment here referred to shows that even un- 

230 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

der these conditions 17 out of 20 observers yield 
to the suggestion and pronounce A longer than 
B. Yet at the end of the experiment of 50 trials 
for each observer, not one of them even suspected 
the presence of the wings. They merely thought 
themselves to be judging the length of two sim- 
ple black lines. Certain other investigators have 
reported similar results. 

But some people get the illusion with subcon- 
scious wings more strongly and frequently than 
others. The table on page 232 shows the per 
cent, of the total trials in which each observer 
pronounced A to be longer than B. In such a 
table 50 per cent, will mean that no illusion is 
present, but that, being compelled to choose be- 
tween A and B, the chances are even. But every 
per cent, above 50 will indicate the presence of 
the illusion due to the subconscious suggestion. 
It will be seen that only three observers have 50 
per cent, records or lower, the others ranging up- 
ward to as high as 76 per cent., the average being 
60 per cent. 

How can we explain these striking individual 
differences? Comparison of these records with 
the scholarship record for the course of study 
which these people were taking at the time shows 
high correlation between the scholarship grade 

231 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

and the illusion record. People who get the illu- 
sion strongly are the people with high grades, 
people with firm and steady attention habits. The 
people whose illusion records are low are those 
whose scholarship is also low. The records of the 

TABLE xn 

Per Centage of Times 
Individual Illusion Occurred 

1 76 

2 73 

3 72 

4 68 

5 67 

6 66 

7 66 

8 65 

9 65 

10 63 

11 62 

12 60 

13 58 

14 57 

15 57 

16 52 

17 52 

18 50 

19 50 

20 44 

experimenter made during the trials also show 
that those observers who paid close attention to 
the task were the ones who were most influenced 
by the suggestion. It follows, then, that even the 
unconscious influence of appeals will depend on 
the degree and duration of attention to the gen- 
eral field in which the suggestion appears. 

232 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

6. The action power of a suggestion will de- 
pend furthermore on the prestige of its source. 
The currents and trends of imitation in social 
life are perfect examples of this law. Custom, 
style, innovations, always trickle downward from 
the higher social strata. The butler apes his lord- 
ship and the sewing girl her mistress. In logic 
and politics and many other places the '*argu- 
memtum ad hominem" is a dangerous fallacy. 
This argument proceeds by saying, for instance, 
that ''man is immortal because Sir Oliver Lodge 
says he is." The more we revere a speaker for 
one reason or another, the greater confidence we 
tend to put in what he has to say on any topic 
whatsoever and the more prone we are to imitate 
him and to follow out his suggestions. In hyp- 
notic experiments, the subject, it is said, must be 
en rapport with the operator, must have utter 
confidence and faith in him if the experiment is 
to work. 

Similarly in laboratory tests of the persuasive 
value of different tj^es of advertising copy, all 
investigators. Gale, Scott, Strong and the writer, 
for example, find that such things as the reliabil- 
ity of the firm, the reputation for straight dealing, 
the length of time which the firm has survived 
competition, etc., stand out clearly in direct ap- 

233 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

peals which the experiment declares to be effec- 
tive. 

7. Closely related to the foregoing principle is 
the law that the strength of a suggestion will be 
determined partly by the amount of internal re- 
sistance which the suggestion encounters. Sug- 
gestions to violate lifelong habits, firmly fixed 
moral feelings, sacred relationships, are impotent 
even during the hypnotic trance. So in advertis- 
ing, the attempt to displace habits, usages and 
practices of long standing by simple suggestion, 
affirmation or assertion, is a heavy one. The sug- 
gestion will be most effective when it can call 
to its aid some other interest or impulse with 
which it can cooperate. 

8. Finally, the strength of a suggestion will de- 
pend on the frequency with which it is met. Im- 
pression after impression may summate them- 
selves to produce a final intensity greater by far 
than any single stimulus could be. The role of 
repetition in attention, interest, association and 
memory we have already pointed out. And here, 
in the field of action, we find it to have equal if 
not even greater importance. No better illustra- 
tion of this principle can be found than the para- 
ble of *'tlie borrowing friend." The claims of 
prestige, sympathy and friendship all failed to 

234 



PROVOKING THE RESPONSE 

secure the three loaves, but persistence, simple 
repetition did the work. "I say unto you, 
though he will not rise and give him, because he 
is his friend, yet because of his importunity he 
will rise and give him as many as he needeth" 
(St. Luke, XI, 8). 

But while repetition is effective, it is at the 
same time expensive, and hence should not be 
employed indiscriminately. Repetition should be 
frequent enough to keep the appeal always fresh 
in the memory. More than this amount is likely 
to be superfluous. What, then, will be the most 
economical distribution of repetitions'? In a gen- 
eral way it may be said that the distribution of 
repetitions should conform to the normal curve 
of forgetting, which has already been described. 

But it should be pointed out and clearly borne 
in mind that mere mechanical repetition avails 
little unless the repeated stimulus is attended to 
with more or less interest. For example, give 
some one a list of fifty words and request him 
to name, as quickly as possible, the opposites or 
synonyms of all the words on the list. Repeat 
this day after day until the observer has read 
through the list say 25 or 50 times. Then ask 
him to name or write down the original list of 
stimulus words which the card contains. You 

235 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

may be surprised to learn that only ten or twelve 
of the fifty words can be given in three to five 
minutes, and that even in a quarter of an hour 
the observer will be unable to recall more than 
about half of the list. He has repeatedly read 
through the list, that is, mechanical repetition has 
been present, but he has not read with the de- 
termination to remember, that is, his interest haS 
not been in the original list, but in the opposites 
or synonyms which he was required to give. Now 
give the observer a new list of words, ask him to 
read them through with the intention of remem- 
bering them, and you will find that after a very 
few repetitions he can repeat the whole list cor- 
rectly. Mere mechanical repetition, that is to say, 
is as futile as mere mechanical intensity, magni- 
tude or contrast. Only when repetition is accom- 
panied by interest is it likely to be worth what it 
costs. 



CHAPTER XIII 

INSTINCTS, THEIE NATUEE AND STRENGTH 

lu the history of the race certain objects or sit- 
uations in the world have stood out as funda- 
mentally important factors in the struggle for 
survival, for supremacy and for comfort. Fur- 
ther, definite kinds of response have been proven 
to be most appropriate in dealing with these ob- 
jects. Individuals who have reacted promptly 
and definitely in these appropriate ways have 
been successful, have flourished, and have left de- 
scendants w^ho possessed the same jnborn tenden- 
cies to reaction. Individuals who for one reason 
or another failed to react in these appropriate 
ways perished. The result has been a constant 
selection of those individuals who possess more 
and more firmly the natural mechanical tendency 
to react in the way which race history has proven 
to be appropriate. These reactions in their finally 
developed form are called instincts. 

We may look upon the instinct as a very com- 
plicated reflex action. Just as the eyelid refiexly 

237 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

blinks wlien a blow is struck, without the volition 
of the owner, so the organism behaves reflexly in 
definitely useful ways in the presence of certain 
kinds of objects. The sight of one boy sets up the 
pugilistic attitude on the part of another. The 
presence of her child leads the normal mother to 
varied acts of caressing, nursing and protecting. 
The discovery of a rich gold deposit attracts men 
from all parts of the world, who dig out ore and 
hide it away in secret places, just as a bird hides 
pieces of twine, a water rat all manner of stray 
objects. The discovery of a remedy for a hitherto 
incurable disease sets all the world a-talking and 
a-buying. 

These actions we say come so promptly and 
universally because of the common instincts 
which men possess, instincts of pugnacity, rivalry, 
maternal love, accumulation, acquisition, self-de- 
pendence, curiosity, play, construction, economy, 
sympathy, imitation, family affection, social co- 
operation, display, sexual mating, hunting, hospi- 
tality, civic and national pride, leadership, etc., 
etc. 

From the point of view of the advertiser, the 
important thing is that if an appeal can but touch 
off one of these instinct mechanisms it is sure of 
at once possessing attention power, interest, 

238 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 

imagery, association and memory value, and is 
extremely likely to set np strong response. And 
the stronger and more universal the instinct, the 
greater the likelihood of its effectiveness. Most 
articles can be described so as to appeal to any 
one of a wide range of instincts. Thus an ordi- 
nary article, such as a clothes-dryer, can be em- 
phasized as cheap, as safe, as popular, as home- 
made, as amusing, as clean, etc. An advertise- 
ment of the Hill Clothes Dryer, wretchedly 
constructed from the artistic point of view, never- 
theless presented an argument which appealed 
strongly to the universal interest in bodily safety. 
In an experiment on the relative persuasiveness 
of 75 subway cards the writer found this card to 
be unanimously the most convincing of the series. 
And he is informed that the copy has produced 
gratifying results from the point of view of sales. 
Twenty years ago advertisements failed to rec- 
ognize the specific character of instincts ; appeals 
tended to be of a vague, generalized sort which in 
our day would pass unobserved by a busy public." 
But the present practice is more and more to rec- 
ognize the specific instinct as a basis of appeal, 
and to concentrate the appeal strongly on a single 
instinct rather than to distribute it among many. 
The following pairs of advertisements reprinted 

239 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



from Advertising and Selling clearly show this 
tendency. Compare the vague, generalized copy 
of 1890 with the definite pointed appeals of 
twenty years later. 

We shall take np, in a moment, the question of 
the relative strength of these specific instincts as 

ANOTHER NOTABLE FEATURE 

New York Central Service 





•"•> 

<;:• 




''^^« 


"An Ideal Investment" 




:^^-~=r. — ■sizi.^ii^T^z...^ 


•-^s 


trr^s; "''""**''"" "^ """ ""*""■ 




Ul U. Smi-i . V.,>b> Tri, 




iTw'V! - ;:.r:^-.'Z.'2.r:rcti.~ ■i.'^Kirr'JS 



No Extra Fare Charged on this Train. 




1890— 



1910 



a basis of appeal in advertising. But before pass- 
ing to this problem, it is necessary to point out 
another important group of factors, which, 
while they can scarcely be called instincts, yet 
closely resemble them in character. The instinct 
we are born with. It is the result of the experi- 
ence of our ancestors. But during our own lives 

240 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 

we all come to acquire certain other prompt re- 
actions to the particular things in our experience. 




^ Cenl. M»n:>jer jn "S^'QAr.n A f JOHN 'JFRt'^TIAM ., 



1800— 



Thus, the moment a thing can be demonstrated to 
be chic, stylish, nobby, modern, popular, clean, 
artistic, imported, scientifically made, guaran- 
teed, elegant, socially advantageous, progressive, 
gentlemanly, bohemian, refined, sporty, up-to- 

241 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

date, used by some favorite, etc., etc., it will at" 
once find a market of greater or less extent and 
permanence. 




^loomincf now in Califx)mia 



The Golden State Limited 

uia RxU Uland lin„ 

«, 1 V ,., n,,,v „vrl i„ ,1., l.„lt„. -UMilunc of C*l.fomi<i 

:.,,. ,f VO„ U.,- Ihc 



r l.^liliJ'jl i^i' Evciv dcl.iii ol piitf-^t ^<-ivi^o Ijy the route oi !owc»t 

h: ei.t&ns. tiJ- ajtittijc. Doily ftom Chifagfj to Lo» Angcica, SJ^Ia 

r^ ' '"^ ?" fiaiLaia and SJn Frjindacc Annex cor (lom St. Louis. 

L*;/^''^''- *' Oil,,-. ..f..«l tr.iiiis every cUy fiwn Chicago. St- Louis, 

'lui and Mcruphi&. with cKoict; of routes. 

--,.' r.^ifx !!■.«.*. not L< VB. Suiu.. cw.ff^ a. 

j^ock, JsldRcl-Irisco Liives^ 



1910 



Let us call these ideas effective conceptions. 
The general law is: Besides our instinctive ac- 
tions our conduct roots largely in a few funda- 
mental conceptions, ideas, values, standards, 
which we apply as action criteria. The moment 

242 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 



an appeal, a suggestion, an object, can be classi- 
fied under one or other of these headings, our at- 
titude toward it is determined. Throw an at- 
mosphere of elegance, of style or of healthfulness 




^jCj Seeing 
is 
Believing 

' AcUons alicays speak louder than wor<f 
and for rhi* ttason WrLLIAMS* SHA 
ING STICK .6ii&ownb«st advocate, 
tells lU ij^n slory — an enchanting talc lo every sKaver. 
Perhaps Vou have been using some Other lit 
found rt good, too, maybe. But there arc degrees p( gc 
fuii. and (he glory of Williams* Shaving StH.<c u t1 
Uu tJu VEST 

Is It true' Wc certain!/ do ^Ol J^ 
tionally misreprcwnl mattery Thousands upQK Ih 
ands are using it — who Uicd other kiod^ bolorc Wc mi 
duced It — and tttj wy it eiccis tny th%y have lk^J. ; 
are stcong \'\ their eipre: 



up, and an ipphtji-on of ihi delicious 
lie lather upnn your l.iif. nil! rn.>ble 
id^ Will yoifcmaVc ilii"- < »d.-nin.iti. 








After 
Bab>'s Bath 






ihc 



k.n a.ul pnxe .Icllclillull! 
o.iihii>]^ and rcltt-shinK. 

Williams' is J Jclicaulv 
ictti;mrtl talc powder, ah- 
uluu-ly pure and of almuH 
inpalpaliU- fineness. The 



189Q— 1910 

about clothing, breakfast foods, soaps, musical 
instruments, etc., as the case may be, and the 
reader will at once react to it by "short circuit" 
response, either favorably or unfavorably, accord- 
ing as the conception used is in his particular case 
effective or weak. Since these effective concep- 
tions are in their action similar to instincts, we 
may group the two together in our attempt to 
learn how these differ among themselves in 

243 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

strength and action-power, liow these differences 
vary with sex, age, class, occupation, commodity, 
etc. We must say to begin ^vith that this is at 
present a field which is almost unworked experi- 
mentally. General comments and opinions are 
abundant, and they are just about as reliable as 
such random observations usually are. The ex- 
perimental results which we shall report will, 
then, represent pioneer investigations of their 
kind, and must be held subject to such modifica- 
tion and correction as later investigation shall 
suggest. 

So far we have emphasized only the principles 
controlling the direct appeal to "short circuit" re- 
sponse. There remains yet the "reason why" ap- 
peal to comparison, argument and deliberate 
choice, to the "long circuit" action of reason. It 
is evidently impossible to say in general terms 
what sorts of arguments, w^hat methods of rea- 
soning, what sort of "selling points" or "rea- 
sons" will be effective. These facts will vary 
with the type of article advertised, with the type 
of man appealed to, and with the actual points of 
superiority which the goods may chance to pos- 
sess. But it may be said that even in our reason- 
ing it is the appeal to our oivn point of view, 
our own dominant instincts, conceptions, values, 

244 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 

habits and needs that constitutes the most effec- 
tive argument. The answer to the cjuestion of the 
relative value of types of argument, selling 
points, etc., may then be left to the experiments 
which are to follow. 

Since the short circuit appeal is based on the 
fact that human beings are equipped with cer- 
tain instinctive tendencies to react in definite 
ways toward particular objects or situations, it 
follows that this type of appeal is particularly 
adapted to the case of certain commodities — to 
those types of articles toward which or toward 
the use or services of which we react with prompt- 
ness, certainty, and feeling. And since acquired 
habits come to resemble instincts in these re- 
spects, we may include both habits and instincts 
as the basis of the short circuit appeal. In a 
general way we may say that the following prin- 
ciples are true. 

The short circuit appeal (display advertise- 
ment, appeal to instinct, feeling and habit) is well 
adapted : 

1. For all personal articles, the use of which 
is intimate and private, as toilet articles, gifts, 
stationery, etc. 

2. For articles of luxury, display, and adorn- 

245 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

ment, as jewelry, fancy dress goods, feathers and 
plumes, flowers, etc. 

3. For articles enjoyed in themselves or for 
their oivn sake, rather than for remote service 
which they may render, as drinks, musical instru- 
ments, sweetmeats, toys, etc. 

4. For articles calculated to promote the bod- 
ily safety of the individual or of those dependent 
on him, as disinfectants, safety devices, insur- 
ance, weapons of defence, etc. 

5. For all food products. 

6. For all clothing which tends to be orna- 
mental rather than utilitarian in character, as 
ties, collars, laces, canes, etc. 

The long circuit appeal (reason why copy, ar- 
gument, comparative statement of advantages, 
etc.) may also be used to reinforce the strength 
of many of the short circuit appeals used in such 
cases as those just enumerated. But it is espe- 
cially fitted, by its nature and by the way in which 
it will be reacted to, for articles which are the re- 
verse of these in character ; for articles which are 
in themselves, or from the use to which they are 
put, impersonal, utilitarian, instrumental ; and for 
articles which are intended not so much to fill 
present needs only, but also to create new needs 
or desires — such articles as books, plows, buttons, 

246 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 

hammers, trucks, etc. — in general, to those things 
which partake of the nature of a tool. 

It is further true that not all instincts are 
equally strong, not all habits equally coercive. 
This being the case, information concerning the 
relative strength of various possible appeals to 
interest, attention, instinct and response tenden- 
cies is desirable. To men who desire to make their 
copy or their selling talk effective, and at the 
same time economical, the question of the relative 
strength of appeals, instincts, interests and effec- 
tive habits is a live one. The writer has repeat- 
edly been asked by such men to state the relative 
strength of various appeals in the case of the 
average man — to say in how far certain interests 
are universal, to what degree certain general 
types are pronounced, and how they are dis- 
tributed and conditioned by age, sex, race, etc. 
The practical man expects the expert psycholo- 
gist to possess such information, and he has the 
right to expect much more than we are at present 
able to tell him. 

Only one or two fragmentary attempts have 
been made to answer such questions experi- 
mentally. Thus Harlow Gale studied a series of 
soap advertisements by the method of question- 
naire and voluntary introspection. His results, 

247 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



when worked over into terms of relative position, 
would yield some such result as the following. 
The smaller the number the higher the position, 
hence the stronger the appeal. 



TABLE XIII 



Appeal 



Relative Position 




Purity by government's test 

Old firm 

Home industry 

"Attractiveness" 

Special sale 

Souvenir prize 



2.29 
2.11 
3.49 
3.49 
4.06 
3.47 



The manager of a western magazine, as re- 
ported by Scott, secured thousands of replies 
from readers as to which advertisement for a 
given month had interested them most, and why. 
The following table resulted: 

TABLE XIV 



Reason 



Number of 
replies 



Reliability of firm or goods 

Money considerations, cheapness . . . 

Beauty of the advertisement 

Presented goods needed at the time 



607 
508 
418 
408 



Obviously such meager and generalized results 
are of little value. What is needed is a series of 

248 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 




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5 — <« o 2 3 »- i„ 

p a„ 03 „'S " a 
^ a2 S S £ o 

O C3 13 £ > 3;3 " 
S 3 ^ £ O o 

^w Q 0) 0) -^ SR -r ■ 
H-3> 0.0.2 t 



^SS'i 



tq S *" o -J3 H 
S^ 3 2*^f-.H 
<uof^ ^Mfe Saa 

;J3n n-3-3 O »* SS 



249 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

rigorous test experiments, under conditions which 
are constant, and by methods which wall afford 
comparative numerical measures. 

Strong has reported experiments designed to 
determine the relative value of various argu- 
ments in favor of a given type of commodity hy 
securing typical, advertisements of such articles 
and using the methods which were referred to in 
the first chapter of this book and which are to be 
described in detail in the chapter which is to fol- 
low. His studies include such special articles as 
vacuum cleaners, pianos, breakfast foods, and 
soaps. An interesting presentation and interpre- 
tation of his results is given in his doctor's dis- 
sertation on **The Relative Merits of Advertise- 
ments." The preceding tabulation of the results 
of the series of breakfast food appeals will serve 
as an example of the suggestive information 
which such experiments yield. 

Studies of the sort reported by Gale, Scott and 
Strong (some of Strong's experiments have been 
subsequently repeated and confirmed by Starch, 
with clothing advertisements) are especially use- 
ful as pointing the way toward the possibility of 
a complete exploration of the range of human in- 
terests and instincts. In the following chapter 
will be given an account of such an attempt, which 

250 



INSTINCTS, THEIR NATURE AND STRENGTH 

in point of time antedated the experiments of 
Strong and Starch, but which logically follows 
upon them. We shall there present a series of 
measurements which apply, not to special articles, 
but to all articles in general, arranged in such a 
way that the relative value of various appeals for 
any specified commodity may be approximately 
determined by reference to the larger table. 

It should be said here that we are not inter- 
ested, in this connection, with the strength of the 
various instincts and interests in phases of life 
other than that of the business transaction. Nor 
can knowledge of the strength of the various in- 
stinctive tendencies as they display themselves in 
the home, the school, or in sport, serve as a basis 
for determination of the strength of the same in- 
stinctive tendencies when they constitute reac- 
tions to business appeals. Thus one might be ex- 
ceedingly vain and much concerned with his per- 
sonal appearance in a general way, and yet mis- 
trust appeals in the way of advertisements and 
selling talks based upon such an instinct. One 
might be sedulously careful of his health, so far 
as his own activity might be concerned, and yet 
mistrust assertions of the health-promoting qual- 
ities of any advertised article of commerce. And 

251 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

an individual with strong imitative tendencies 
with respect to his general behavior might yet 
refuse to adopt a given article or style of dress 
merely because some favorite opera singer or 
public official had recommended it. 



CHAPTEE XIV 

THE EELATIVE STKENGTH OF THE CHIEF 
INSTINCTS AND INTEKESTS 

Before taking up the main topic of tliis chap- 
ter, it will be well to consider in some detail the 
method by which the results here presented were 
secured. We have frequently had occasion to re- 
fer to methods of measuring the strength of such 
subjective things as the strength of appeals, the 
persuasiveness of advertisements, etc. How, 
now, is it possible to measure these subjective fac- 
tors, so long as there is no objective scale with 
which they may be compared! A few illustra- 
tions may throw light on the problem. 

Suppose that I have in my laboratory a series 
of weights which differ from each other by very 
small amounts. Suppose, further, that I desire 
to know the relative weight of the members of 
the series, but have no balance with which to 
weigh them, and that the differences between 
those most like each other are so small that I can- 
not absolutely trust to my judgments when I lift 

253 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

the weights in my hand and compare them with 
each other. I may be led to mistrust my judg- 
ments because I do not always judge consistently, 
or because the judgments of other people in the 
laboratory disagree somewhat with mine. These 
conditions being given, is it possible for me in any 
way to determine with certainty the order of the 
weights as that order would turn out if a balance 
were available ? The answ^er is that it is not only 
possible, but at the same time very easily accom- 
plished. All I need to do is to let a large number of 
people, say twenty different individuals, arrange 
the weights in what seem to them to be the order 
of their relative heaviness, when lifted in the 
hand. Then taking the average of the twenty 
judgments of each weight in the series, I derive a 
final order based on the combined judgments of 
the twenty observers. This final order will be 
found to coincide w^ith the order of heaviness as 
determined by the balances, when such are avail- 
able. Anyone who doubts may easily satisfy him- 
self by trying the experiment. If there are, say, 
seven w^eights in the series, and five different in- 
dividuals pass judgments upon them, some such 
table as the one on page 255 will result: 

The order of heaviness, as determined by the 
judgments of the group of observers, is seen to 

254 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 



afford a correct statement of the real relative 
heaviness of the series of weights. The objective 
scale (the balance) is unnecessary. We have used 
it here only in order to check up the order as de- 

TABLE XVI 

Typical Table Resulting from Order of Merit Method 



The 
Weights 



Position in order of weight, as 
judged by five persons 



Average 
Position 



Order of 
Heaviness 



65 grams 
63 grams 
61 grams 
59 grams 
57 grams 
55 grams 
53 grams 



6.8 
6.0 
4.8 
4.2 
3.0 
1.8 
1.4 



termined by the judgments. In the same way it 
is possible to determine the order of intensity of 
a series of sounds, the relative legibility of speci- 
mens of handwriting, the relative length of lines 
differing only slightly from each other, the rela- 
tive excellence of literary compositions, the rela- 
tive eminence of scientific men, the relative per- 
suasiveness of selling talks, the pulling power of 
advertisements, the strength of various appeals 
to instincts and interests. 

It must be noted that in the experiment on the 
series of weights, I do not ask my observers to ar- 
range the weights in the order in which they think 

255 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

they would appear to some other individual, nor 
in the order in which they think they would ap- 
pear to people in general, nor even in the order 
in which they think the weights would be shown 
to stand when measured on the balance. I in- 
struct each individual, ''Arrange the weights in 
the order of heaviness as they seem to you when 
you consider them. Arrange them in the order in 
which they affect you when you lift them. ' ' Simi- 
larly, if I am studying a series of advertisements, 
I do not say: "Arrange these appeals in order 
according to the way in which you think they 
w^ould affect other people/' but I say: **Here 
are a series of appeals. Arrange them in order 
according to the degree to which they make you 
desire the article, or interest you in it, or incline 
you favorably toward it." That is to say, I do 
not ask him to judge whether or not the various 
appeals are good advertisements (persuasive to 
people in general). Similarly, if I am studying a 
series of landscapes, I do not ask my observers to 
arrange them in the order of beauty as they think 
other people would be affected by them. I merely 
say: "Which picture is most beautiful to you? 
Put it at the top. Which of the remaining ones 
is most beautiful? Put it next in order, etc." 
But my final orders of merit will represent the 

256 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

way in which people as a whole, in general, on 
the average, or in the long run, will react to the 
objects studied. Or if any objective measurement 
is possible, the final order will coincide with these 
objective measurements. In other words, the de- 
terminations afforded by the experimental 
methods are true measures of the qualities or 
traits investigated. 

This is the method which was used in measur- 
ing the relative pulling power of the different 
series of advertisements discussed in the first 
chapter of this book. And it was there shown 
that the results of the laboratory tests actually 
enabled us to know in advance the relative order 
of pulling power of the advertisements when they 
were used in business. It should be said further, 
that, by the use of the proper precision and sta- 
tistical method, it is not only possible to deter- 
mine the relative order of these subjective fac- 
tors, but to measure the amount of difference be- 
tween the various members of the series. A dis- 
cussion of these further refinements of the 
method would involve more technicality than it is 
the purpose of this book to contain. Readers 
who may be interested in knowing more about the 
method, its history, applications, and possibili- 
ties, may be referred to Strong's monograph en- 

257 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

titled "The Eelative Merits of Advertisements." 
This monograph consists of the elaboration and 
justification of the method here described, with 
applications. Thorndike's "Mental and Social 
Measurements" gives a useful account of the sta- 
tistical and mathematical points involved in such 
measurements. 

Having given this brief description and justifi- 
cation of the laboratory method, we are now 
ready for the results of an extensive experiment 
on the strength of such appeals as may be used in 
various business situations. In order to get at 
the strength of the appeal in itself, and independ- 
ently of any particular article or brand in connec- 
tion with which it might appear, abstract appeals 
have been used, which referred not to any com- 
modity in particular, but to an ideal, imaginary 
article, designated by an abstract symbol, such as 
3K7. The value of abstracting from particular 
commodities will be pointed out after the results 
have been given. Fifty abstract appeals, each de- 
signed to reach a definite and different interest, 
instinct, or line of argument, were prepared. 
These appeals were typewritten on separate slips 
of paper, and presented without being accom- 
panied by picture or illustration. In addition to 
the statement of the appeal, each card bore a sin- 

258 



•STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

gle word or pair of words, designed to emphasize 
the specific character and direction of the appeal, 
to reinforce the suggestion or argument offered 
by the text itself, and to insure, in so far as pos- 
sible, the same attitude on the part of all the ob- 
servers in the presence of the respective appeals. 
By employing such material the following results 
were secured: 

1. Each appeal tends to be single and uncom- 
plicated by other interests. 

2. Each is divorced from reactions to any ar- 
ticle or brand as such. 

3. The elimination of illustrations and the 
use of the same general style and expres- 
sion lends homogeneity to the group of ap- 
peals. 

4. A wide rg,nge of specialized isolated ap- 
peals is secured, which fairly represents 
the possible range of appeal afforded by 
human nature. 

The series of 50 appeals was given to each ob- 
server, along with the following printed direc- 
tions. 

DIRECTIONS 

(Read these directions two times, carefully, before 
beginning the experiment.) 

259 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

This is an experiment in the psychology of adver- 
tising. Its purpose will be explained after you have 
finished the series. Each card contains an advertise- 
ment of some fictitious article, indicated by a letter- 
numeral symbol (thus, 3K7). It need make no differ- 
ence what the article might really be. It may be well 
to assume that all the cards advertise different brands 
or makes of the same article, — some ideal, imaginary 
article, to which any or all of the advertisements might 
apply. 

I. Read all the advertisements through and arrange 
them in five consecutive piles, in an order of merit, — 
according to their persuasiveness, i. e., according to the 
degree in which they make you desire the article or 
convince you of its merit. 

There will thus be five degrees of persuasiveness, 
which might be roughly designated: 



1. Most persuasive. 

2. Very persuasive. 

3. Fairly persuasive. 

4. Mildly persuasive. 

5. Least persuasive. 



Arrange the five piles in a row so that Group 1 is at 
the top, Group 5 at the bottom, and the three other 

260 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

groups in their respective positions between these ex- 
tremes. 

II. Having done this turn to the top pile (Group 1) 
and arrange the advertisements in that group in a strict 
order of merit, — the strongest in the pile thus getting 
the first position, the next strongest the second position, 
and so on. 

After the top pile is arranged, treat each of the other 
groups in the same manner. In this way the whole 
series of advertisements will have been arranged in an 
order of merit series with respect to their persuasive- 
ness, — with the most persuasive at the top and the lea^t 
persuasive at the bottom. 

III. Without disturbing your arrangement of the 
Groups, notify the experimenter that you have com- 
pleted the series. 

The 50 different appeals follow, arranged in a 
final order of merit for a group of 40 observers, 
consisting of 20 men and 20 women. The first 
pair of figures gives the average value and mean 
variation for the women, the second pair the 
measures for the men. 

1. 1K6,— SCIENTIFIC -.—Our 1K6 article is man- 
ufactured by approved scientific methods and 
by scientifically tested processes, by technically 
261 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

trained men, working under the constant super- 
vision of experts. 

2—9.1 ; 2—8.4 

2. 1W5,— DURABILITY :— Combine utility with 

durability by using 1W5. It lasts one-third 

longer than the ordinary article. Stands the 

wear and tear of constant use, combining equal 

quality with greater permanence and longer 

service. 

1—8.2; 6—8.0 

3. 1F3,— SANITARY :— This is the only sanitary 
1F3 on the market. Put up in germ-proof, dust- 
proof, hermetically sealed packages, and made 
of strictly pure and unadulterated ingredients. 

5—7.7; 3—10.5 

4. 2D8,— EFFICIENCY :— Actual energy, earn- 
ing power, is what counts in modern business. 
The day is past when recognition rested on pull 
and social influence. 2D8 will increase your effi- 
ciency 25%. By no other means can you secure 
such prompt and sure increase of producing ca- 
pacity. 

7—12.8; 8—13.7 

262 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

5. 1T8,— TIME :— Save the minutes and the 
hours will save themselves. Time is money. Our 
latest 1T8 is the biggest time saver on the mar- 
ket. Does in twenty minutes what requires, with 
other brands, a half an hour. 

3—8.6 ; 14—12.2 

6. 1N6,— APPETIZING :— Try 1N6. It comes 
fresh from the field and its appetizing flavor is 
a treat to the palate. It makes a dainty break- 
fast, a delightful luncheon, and a delicious des- 
sert. 

13—8.9; 5—8.8 

7. 2B7,— FAMILY AFFECTION:— A final day 
must come to every man, and no one wants to see 
his children left dependent on mere accident. 
You owe a duty of provision and foresight to 
your family. A 2B7 will guarantee this comfort 
and security when you are gone. 

17—13.5; 1—7.7 

8. 1Z5, — VALUE : — Absolutely superior quality 
and finer finish. 1Z5 may cost a little more, but 
it's worth the difference. One trial will con- 
vince. 

4—7.3 ; 16—10.1 
263 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

9. 2L7— EVOLUTION:— Our latest 2L7 is the 
result of generations of experience and experi- 
ment. After years of trial 2L7 stands distinctly 
in a class by itself as the final product of a long 
evolution, — the climax of mechanical genius. 
11—10.9; 12—9.1 

10. 2C8,— AMBITION:— There's always room 
higher up. Capable leaders are always in de- 
mand. Why stay among the incompetent when 
2C8 will bring you a better position and increase 
your salary. The man who uses 2C8 is sure of 
recognition and rapid promotion. 

6—10.9; 18—13.5 

11. 2F6,— SELF-DEFENSE :— Forearmed is fore- 
warned. Your life is always threatened by some 
lurking danger or another. With 2F6 in your 
home you are always secure and able to protect 
the rights and person of yourself and of those 
whose safety is your chief concern. 

15—9.7; 10—11.3 

12. 1R4,— REPUTATION :— Established in 1870, 
we have been for 40 years the leading manufac- 
turers of 1R4 in the country. 

264 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

We have the longest and most enviable record 
of any house, in our line, on the continent. 
9—12.8; 21—12.0 

13. 2E9, — GUARANTEED :— Our well - known 
trade-mark guarantees quality and satisfaction. 
All our 2E9 is strictly warranted high grade. 
Your money refunded if 2E9 does not accomplish 
all we claim for it. 

10— 12.7; 20— 11.4 

14. 1P5,— STIMULATING :—lP5 fortifies the 
body against the inroads of toil and disease, 
gives new life and vigor to tired muscles and 
nerves, and removes unnecessary strain and fa- 
tigue. 

12—9.6; 41—19.4 

15. 1V3,— SAFETY:— Avoid danger by using the 
only absolutely safety-built, accident-proof 1V3. 
Do not court danger by taking chances. This is 
the only 1V3 in which you get all the protection 
and none of the risk. 

26—11.5; 7—10.2 

16. 1E5,— POPULAR :— The name is on all 
tongues. You will find 1E5 in the ladies' dress- 

265 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

ing-room, in the scholar's study, in the nursery, 
in kitchens of the humble, in crowded Eastern 
cities and on limitless Western plains. Used in 
millions of homes and everywhere it is on top. 
29—13.2; 4—9.9 

17. 2R5,— ECONOMIZE :— A dollar saved is a 
dollar earned. 2R5 will save you money. Why 
not cut down expense items and start a bank ac- 
count. 2R5 will help you do it. 

14—8.0; 19—7.3 

18. 1Q3,— MATERNAL LOVE —Nothing is too 

good for baby. 1Q3 comforts and soothes the 

little chap and makes of babyhood one happy 

play time. Assures the children's health and 

enjoyment. 

18—11.4; 15—11.8 

19. 1J4,— MODERNITY :— Strictly up-to-date de- 
sign with all the latest improvements. 1J4 is 
equipped with every advantage and ingenious 
device known to recent invention. 

22—8.8; 13—11.6 

20. 1C3,— HEALTH :— As a general tonic, 1C3 is 
unequaled. It nourishes the system, enriches the 

266 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

blood, builds up firm, healthy tissue and gives 
tone and color to the whole body. Prevents 
grippe and pneumonia. 

8—10.9; 30—15.6 

21. 1X9 —QUALITY :— Why keep on wasting 
money when for the price of the ordinary article 
you can get our own superior 1X9. Goes far- 
ther and does the work better than any other. 

16—12.5; 22—9.5 

22. 1A7,— ELEGANCE :— Nothing contributes so 
strongly to the luxurious comfort of the modern 
home as 1A7. Its presence gives dignity and 
elegance to the whole and creates an atmosphere 
of daintiness and distinction. 

30—10.9; 11—10.3 

23. 1G2— BARGAIN:— No 1G2 was ever offered 
before for the money. As good as any others 
and only two-thirds their cost. We are enabled 
to offer this proposition only by virtue of our 
mammoth plant and enormous capacity. Why 
pay more ? 

28—11.0; 17—12.0 
267 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

24. 2Q7— SYMPATHY :— Kindness is the first 
law of humanity. Much of the pain and discom- 
fort inflicted on dumb animals could be relieved 
by using 2Q7. Be humane to your beast. Use 

2Q7. 

37—15.3; 9—9.9 

25. 208— NECESSARY:— You cannot afford to 
do without 208. It is indispensable in your 
home, in your business, in your recreation. Every 
man, woman and child needs it constantly. 

20—8.2; 27—14.0 

26. 2W8,— MIDDLEMEN:— Why pay middle- 
men 's profit ? Buy direct from the manufacturer 
and keep the profits yourself. "We make 2W8 
and ship straight to the consumer. 

23—11.7; 26—10.4 

27. 2Z7,— COURTESY :— Nothing is more dis- 
courteous than an offensive breath. 

2Z7 cleanses the system, purifies the blood and 
sweetens the breath. 

27—10.1 ; 25—12.0 

28. 2T9,— REMARKABLE GROWTH:— The su- 
perior quality of 2T9 is demonstrated by the 
rapid development of our business. 

268 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

Total Capital, 1890— $15,273.00 

1895,— 85,896.00 

" ** 1900,— 240,142.00 

" ** 1905,— 703,279.00 

" " 1910,— 3,875,639.00 

19—16.3; 36—11.5 

29. 1S6,— AMUSEMENT:— Don't look bored! 
Buy 1S6. The most side-splitting, mirth-provok- 
ing novelty ever devised. Amuses old and young. 
Affords fun and laughter from morning till 

night. 

34_10.7 ; 23—10.6 

30. 2X4,— HOSPITALITY:— Don't be content 
with envying the successful hostess when you can 
secure the same keen pleasure for yourself. The 
homes equipped with 2X4 are known far and 
wide for their generous comfort and open hospi- 
tality. 

24—8.0; 34—11.0 

31. 2Y9,— YOUTH :— The fountain of eternal 
youth has never been discovered, but it has been 
demonstrated beyond a doubt that 2Y9 restores 
youthful vigor, quickens the step and gives new 
life to both body and mind. 

24—8.9; 34—13.1 
269 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

32. 2V7— HUNTING :— Just the thing for the 
fishing and hunting trip. Ensures a lively spirit 
in the field and solid comfort in the camp. No 
vacation outfit is complete without 2V7. 

31—12.1; 28—11.6 

33. 109 —SOCIAL STANDING :— The use of 109 
is the stamp of the gentleman. It is always 
found where social standards are high, and is the 
favorite of men and women of discriminating 
taste and culture. 

38—9.0; 24—12.6 

34. 2S8— ENORMOUS :— We have the largest es- 
tablishment engaged in the production of 2S8 in 
the United States, 

Capital, $12,000,000.00. 
Factories or branch establishments in every 
prominent city in the country. 

25—14.6; 38—11.4 

35. 1Y2,— CHEAP :— Buy 1Y2. Costs just one- 
half the price of its competitors. Why spend 
two days' wages when one day's work will bring 
our high-class article to your home? 

32—10.1; 33—9.6 
270 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

36. 2J9— GET THE GENUINE :— Avoid substi- 
tutes. Many may pattern after us, but none can 
equal us. As a matter of fact 2J9 has many imi- 
tators, but there is only one standard, genuine 
article. Ask for 2J9. 

21—12.0 ; 48—9.4 

37. 2P6,— PROGRESS:— Don't be a dead one. 
Use 2P6 and be up to date. It is an essential 
part of every progressive modern establishment. 

40—11.7; 29—12.3 

38. 2A3, — SALE : — We are closing out our large 
stock of 2A3 at a great sacrifice, to make way for 
next year's goods. For the next ten days 2 A3 
will be sold at less than cost. Come early. Don't 
miss this rare opportunity, 

41—11.3; 31—11.7 

39. 2M5,— EXCEL:— Don't be a wall flower. Use 
2M5 and you will be the envy of all your friends. 
It gives that look of superiority which everyone 
recognizes and respects, but which few possess. 

36—11.7; 42—13.0 

40. 2K4,— CIVIC PRIDE:— We appeal to your 
civic pride. 2K4 is made in your own city, by 

271 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

local workmen and backed by strictly home cap- 
ital. Encourage home industry. Use 2K4. 
33—15.0; 45—10.3 

41. 1H9,— PATRIOTISM :— Our 1H9 product is 
made for American consumers, of strictly Amer- 
ican-grown materials, by an American firm em- 
ploying exclusively American labor and Amer- 
ican capital. 

35—15.6; 43—10.3 

42. 2G4,— UNION MADE:— We stand for organ- 
ized labor. 2G4 is a strictly union-made product, 
built by union labor, of union-raised material, 
and sold exclusively by all union dealers. 

49—14.6; 32—11.6 

43. 1M8,— RECOMMENDATION:— Here's what 
the world-famous tenor of the Metropolitan 
Opera House says of 1]\I8 : 

"I have used your product constantly and 
have continued to derive great benefit from it." 
(Signed) Enrico Caruso. 
46—14.0; 37—14.5 

44. 1D8,— NOBBY :— Our IDS products are made 
by our smartest designers, especially for those 

070 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

who love nobby and dressy styles. Exclusive 
patterns and dashing cuts, unequaled in snap 
and color. 

48—7.3; 35—10.3 

45. 1B5,— STYLE :— Our new 1B5 is fresh from 
the center of fashion, representing the latest cre- 
ation of accepted artists of style, in exclusive de- 
signs and dressy patterns, chic and strictly d la 
mode. 

47—5.8; 40—7.5 

46. 1L7,— ROYALTY :— 1L7 will be found in most 
of the houses of European royalty. We are com- 
missioned by official warrant to supply 1L7 to 
his Excellency, the Emperor of Germany. 

50—8.5; 39—12.1 

47. 2N7,— ADMIRATION :— Do you desire the ad- 
miration of those you meet? Use 2N7 and you 
will be the constant center of attraction to ador- 
ing and envious eyes. No jewels or marvels of 
costuming can add so much to your appearance 
as 2N7. 

43—9.4; 47—11.5 

273 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

48. 2H8,— IMPORTED:— All 2H8 products are 
strictly imported and foreign stamped. 2H8 
comes straight from European makers, and its 
superior quality is thereby guaranteed. 

45—10.0; 46—9.8 

49. 1U4,— BEAUTY :— Are you as pretty as you 
might be? No one wants to be homely. The 
continued use of 1U4 removes the undesirable 
blemish, beautifies the complexion, renders the 
form attractive and gives charm to the figure. 

42—8.9; 50—9.8 

50. 2U3,— PERSONALITY :— Everyone desires to 
be attractive to the opposite sex. 2U3 will give 
you distinctive presence and engaging personal- 
ity which is irresistible in its appeal. 

44—10.9 ; 49—19.2 

Certain sources of ''error" in such an experi- 
ment are at once obvious : 

1. It is difficult to keep out of even the abstract 
appeals some suggestion of special reference. 
Thus the appeal to appetite will inevitably sug- 
gest food, some health appeals are strikingly 
medicinal in tone, and doubtless in most cases 
there is a more or less pronounced tendency to 
think of one article rather than another. 

274., 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

2. There is a certain feeling of self-conscious- 
ness and reserve in submitting honestly to such 
an experiment, a tendency to place low certain 
appeals which really bulk large outside of the 
laboratory, or a tendency toward ideal arrange- 
ment strongly suggestive of the inclination to give 
learned responses in association tests. 

Of these two sources of error, it may be said 
that from the practical point of view only the 
second is of importance. And that the danger 
here is minimal is attested by the fact that the 
results of such tests are verified by keyed results. 
The observers used were 30 women, mostly Jun- 
iors in Barnard College, taking their second 
year's work in psychology, and 20 men in Colum- 
bia College of corresponding age and class. 
Twenty of the women made two arrangements, 
one month apart, without meanwhile having seen 
the cards. The other 10 women and the 20 men 
made but one arrangement. No time limit was 
given. Each observer was allowed to work over 
the material until a satisfactory order had been 
secured. 

Comparison of the two trials of the group of 
20 women will thus throw light on the permanence 
of such judgments and on the constancy of differ- 
ent individuals. Comparison of this group with 

275 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

the group of 10 women will show how far the 
average judgments of such an experiment are 
typical of the results to be expected from observ- 
ers of approximately the same class. Compari- 
son of the group of men with the group of the 
women will reveal such sex differences in these 
traits as may be present. Separate study of each 
group will show the degree of variability intro- 
duced by the personal equations of the various ob- 
servers, the general relationships of individual 
judgments to group averages, etc. The array of 
figures yielded by such an experiment is a verita- 
ble mine of suggestions and material. These re- 
sults from the point of view of the applied 
psychologist merit discussion in detail. For the 
present, however, we must limit ourselves to giv- 
ing the various tables of measures and briefly 
summarizing their meaning and significance for 
advertising and selling. 

The table gives a statement of the relative per- 
suasiveness of the different appeals for men and 
women, their average values and positions. In 
this table the various cards which might be 
classed under one general heading, such as 
health, reputation, economy, etc., have been 
grouped and their average taken as representing 
the most probable value of that general type of 

276 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

appeal. The second column in the table gives, for 
each general type, the number of actual cards 

TABLE XVII 

Relative Persuasiveness for Men and Women 



Appeal No. 



Health 3 

Cleanliness 1 

Scientific 2 

Time Saved 1 

Appetizing 1 

Efficiency 3 

Safetv 4 

Durability 2 

Quality 2 

Modernity 2 

Family Affection ... 4 

Reputation 5 

Guarantee 2 

Sympathy 1 

Medicinal 3 

Imitation 3 

Elegance 2 

Courtesy 1 

Economy 5 

Affirmation 2 

Sport 2 

Hospitality 1 

Substitutes 1 

Clan Feeling 4 

Nobby 2 

Recommendation ... 2 

Social Superiority. . . 4 

Imported 1 

Beautifying 3 



40 Final 



20 Women 



20 Men 



Av. 

4.0 

4.0 

6.5 

8.5 

9.0 

9.5 

10.5 

11.5 

14.5 

14.5 

15.2 

21.1 
21.2 
23.0 
25.0 
25.5 
26.0 
26.0 
26.4 
29.0 
29.0 
29.0 

34.5 
41.0 
42.5 
43.0 
44.0 
45.5 
45.8 



Pos. 

1 

2 
3 

4 
5 
6 

7 
8 
9^ 
9^ 
11 

12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
22 

23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
28 
29 



Av. 

5.0 

5.0 

6.5 

3.0 

13.0 

5.3 

15.7 

8.5 

10.0 

16.5 

21.8 

18.4 
14.5 
37.0 
15.0 
30.0 
34.0 
27.0 
27.6 
30.0 
32.5 
24.0 

21.0 
40.5 
47.5 
48.0 
41.2 
45.0 
43.0 



Pos. 

2 

3 

5 

1 

8 

4 
11 

6 

7 
12 
15 

13 
9 
23 
10 
19 
22 
17 
18 
20 
21 
16 

14 
24 
28 
29 
25 
27 
26 



Av. 

3.0 

3.0 

7.0 

14.0 

5.0 

13.3 

5.2 

14.0 

19.0 

12.5 

8.7 

32.8 
28.0 
9.0 
35.0 
21.0 
17.5 
25.0 
35.2 
28.0 
25.5 
34.0 

48.0 
41.5 
37.5 
38.0 
47.0 
46.0 
48.7 



Pos. 

1 

2 

5 
10 

3 

9 

4 
11 
13 



15 
19 
7 
22 
14 
12 
16 
17 
20 
18 
21 

28 
25 
23 
24 
27 
26 
29 



277 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

averaged to give the result in the table. Since 
this number varies from 1 to 5 the reliability of 
the various measures is not uniform, but the 
method reduces to a certain extent the influence of 
the particular way in which one or other of the 
various appeals may have been expressed. 

Columns 3 and 4 give the final averages and 
positions for the combined groups of 20 men and 
20 women. The values range from 4.0 to 45.8, 
these numbers indicating the average position in 
the list of 50 possible places. The group of ap- 
peals, as a whole, falls into three rather sharply 
defined sections, the series breaking at values 15.2 
and at 29.0, at which points there are wide gaps, 
which contrast with the gradual transitions of 
value within the groups. And these sections, 
moreover, correspond to qualitatively different 
groups of appeals. 

(a) In the first group, with values ranging 
from 4.0 to 15.2, fall the appeals to health, cleanli- 
ness, scientific construction, economy of time, ap- 
petite, increase of efficiency, safety, durability, 
quality, modernity, and family affection. The 
general characteristic of these appeals is that 
they are strictly relevant in tone, describe the ar- 
ticle precisely or point out some specific value, 
quality or *' selling point" which it possesses. 

278 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

(b) In the second group, with values ranging 
from 21.1 to 29.0, fall the appeals based on the 
general reputation, guarantee or assertion of the 
manufacturer, and on the set of specific and more 
or less social feelings and interests, such as sym- 
pathy for others (not family), courtesy, imitation, 
elegance, hospitality, sport, cheapness, etc. The 
characteristic of these appeals is that they do not 
relevantly describe the article, but try to connect 
the article with some specific instinct or effective 
conception. And these appeals are distinctly less 
personal, more social, than those of the first 
group. 

(c) In the third section, with values ranging 
(with one exception) from 41.0 to 45.8, fall the 
rather vague appeals to avoid substitutes, to civic 
pride and clan feeling, social superiority, recom- 
mendation, the ideals of fashion and foreign ori- 
gin, and finally the beautifying appeal. The chief 
characteristic of this group seems to be that 
while, as in the second group, the statement is 
semi-irrelevant or incidental, the feeling appealed 
to is indeterminate and general. 

The only considerable sex differences, cases in 
which the difference in position is, say, 5 places or 
over, are on the appeals entitled appetite, safety, 
nobby, family affection, sympathy, elegance and 

279 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

recommendatiofi which are placed higher by the 
men and on time saved, guarantee, medicinal, sub- 
stitutes, efficiency, durability, quality and hospi- 
tality, which are placed higher by the women. 

In an interesting continuation of this experi- 
ment five professional advertising men arranged 
the series of appeals in an order, not as they ap- 
pealed to them, personally, but as they judged 
they would appeal to the general reader and con- 
sumer. This was done in order to see how ac- 
curately the expert advertising man could judge 
the feelings of his audience. The final average 
order, as arranged by these five experts, was then 
compared with the orders as arranged by the 20 
men and the 20 women. Several interesting 
points resulted from this comparison. 

In the first place, the consumers find greater 
differences between the various appeals than do 
the business men. The total range of values, 
from best to poorest, for the consumers, was from 
4 to 45.5. For the advertising men the total range 
was only 11.8 to 40.3, This means that the ad- 
vertising men did not fully realize the differences 
which were felt by the readers. To the adver- 
tising men the 50 appeals tend to be pretty much 
alike, or rather, these men believed that the con- 
sumers would feel the appeals to be pretty much 

280 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

alike, in persuasiveness. They failed to appre- 
ciate the real effects of rather small changes in 
their copy. 

By proper statistical methods a figure can be 
obtained which will show the degree of corre- 
spondence between the arrangements by the vari- 
ous groups of people. When this is done, a co- 
efficient of 100 per cent, means exact correspond- 
ence. One of — 100 per cent, means just the re- 
verse order in one case of that in the other. A co- 
efficient of per cent, means only a chance or ac- 
cidental correspondence. Intermediate amounts 
indicate corresponding degrees of resemblance 
between the two arrangements. The coefficients 
for these experiments are as follows: 

1. The 20 men and the 20 women agree 
closely with each other, giving a coefficient 
of correspondence of 63 per cent. 

2. Two different arrangements, by the 20 
women, show a very high degree of corre- 
spondence (90 per cent.). 

3. The average order, as arranged by the ad- 
vertising men, corresponded only slightly 
with the average order for the men and 
women combined. The coefficient is only 
36 per cent, of resemblance. 

281 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

4. When the advertising men arranged the 
appeals as they thought they would appeal 
to other men, the degree of correspond- 
ence was fairly high, the coefficient being 
65 per cent. 

5. When the advertising men arranged the 
appeals as they thought they would appeal 
to women, the correspondence was much 
less, the coefficient being only 41 per cent. 

That is to say, these experts had very incor- 
rect ideas as to the relative strength of these ap- 
peals for men and women in general (36 per 
cent.). In the case of men alone, their opinions 
were fairly correct (65 per cent.), while in the 
case of women the opinion of the experts was 
much less reliable (41 per cent.). 

Taking the table as it stands, the various in- 
stincts and interests there represented stand in 
their order of strength in so far as they may 
serve as the basis of appeal in business transac- 
tions, regardless of the commodity concerned. 
But it is obvious that not all of these appeals can 
be used in the case of any single commodity. 
Thus ''Appetizing Qualities" cannot apply to the 
sale of diamonds or shoes, nor could ''Durabil- 
ity" be applied to the merchandising of food 

282 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

products. The table, nevertheless, affords an ap- 
proximate statement of the relative strength of 
available appeals for any given commodity. It is 
only necessary to begin at the top of the list and 
select the first appeal which could be applied in 
the description of the commodity in question. 
This will then constitute the strongest appeal 
which can be made in the interest of that com- 
modity. The next in the list which would apply 
appropriately would be the next strongest, etc. 
For example, the first appeal which would be ap- 
propriate to breakfast foods would be ''Health- 
fulness." Then would come, in order of strength, 
as indicated by position in the table — "Cleanli- 
ness," ''Appetizing Qualities," "Reputation of 
the Firm," "Medicinal Properties," "Economy," 
"Hospitality," "Substitutes," "Clan Loyalty," 
"Recommendation by others," and finally "Im- 
ported. ' ' If the reader will now turn back to the 
table in the preceding chapter, in which are given 
the results of a special study of the persuasive- 
ness of advertisements used for breakfast foods, 
he will find that the order of strength of appeals 
as indicated by this abstract table coincides with 
the order determined upon independently by 
Strong. 

283 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

SUMMAKY 

We may then summarize the practical results 
of this experiment under the following headings : 

1. The table of relative persuasiveness affords 
a statement of the order of strengh, in general, 
of most of the appeals which can be utilized in the 
process of advertising and selling, regardless of 
the commodity concerned. 

2. Selection from this table of the appeals ap- 
propriate to the descrij^tion of any given com- 
modity enables the formation of a smaller table 
in which the appropriate appeals stand in their 
order of relative persuasiveness. 

3. Any sex differences, and the amount of these 
differences, may be determined by the compari- 
son of the orders for men and women as given in 
the table. 

4. The strongest appeals which can be made for 
any commodity, in the attempt to market it, dis- 
tribute it, or secure publicity for it, will consist 
in strictly relevant statements of the characteris- 
tics, specific qualities or merits, or ''selling 
points" possessed by the article. This will be es- 
pecially true if these qualities take the form of 
cleanliness, healthfulness, scientific construction, 
economy of time, increase of efficiency, safety, 

284 



STRENGTH OF INSTINCTS AND INTERESTS 

durability, modernity, appetizing quality, and the 
power to contribute to the welfare of one's fam- 
ily and dependants. 

5. If a commodity possesses none of these qual- 
ities it is possible to resort to the use of a second 
but weaker type of appeal, by trying to associate 
the article with some specific instinct or effective 
habit of a more "social," less "personal" char- 
acter than those of the first group, such appeals 
as those based on reputation of the firm, guaran- 
tee or assertion of the maker, sympathy for others 
(not in one's family), courtesy, imitation, ele- 
gance, hospitality, sport, cheapness, etc. These 
appeals are not descriptive of the article itself 
but attempt to utilize, in an incidental way, the 
strength of instincts and interests which are pri- 
marily concerned with situations outside the field 
of business transactions. 

6. The semi-relevant or strictly incidental ap- 
peal, appealing to rather indeterminate and gen- 
eral interests, such as those based on civic 
pride and clan feeling, social superiority im- 
pulses, recommendation by others, ideals of fash- 
ion and of foreign origin, the promise of physical 
beauty, and the avoidance of substitutes, are the 
weakest appeals that could possibly be used. One 

285 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

is amazed at the extent to which these feeble ap- 
peals are relied on in current advertising and 
selling, and is not surprised at the assertions of 
experts that two-thirds of the money devoted to 
securing publicity is wasted. 



CHAPTER XV 

SEX AND CLASS DIFFEEENCES OF INTEEEST TO 
BUSINESS MEN 

I. SEX DIFFERENCES 

It is not my purpose here to enter upon any 
discussion of sex or class differences in general, 
but rather to confine myself to such differences as 
have been experimentally shown to be present in 
the processes of purchasing goods, and particu- 
larly in the processes of reacting to the appeals of 
advertisements and of salesmen. Biologists have 
had much to say concerning elemental differences 
between the male and female reproductive cells, 
and have often reasoned, by way of analogy, and 
with insufficient caution, to similar or correspond- 
ing differences between men and women in mature 
life. The naturalists, in turn, have found charac- 
teristic differences in the organization and activi- 
ties of the sexes among lower animals, and these 
differences have also been eagerly sought for in 
human society. The anthropologist has, in his 
own way, compared the activities and character- 

287 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

istics of sex as these are reflected in primitive cul- 
tures, and many have attempted to trace continui- 
ties between these conditions and those of our 
own complex social organizations, institutions and 
activities. Finally, the experimental psycholo- 
gist has investigated in great detail, but seldom 
with adequate accuracy or scope, the mental char- 
acteristics of men and women, as shown by their 
sensory acuity, their motor capacities, their im- 
agery, memory, attention, associations, reasoning, 
feelings and emotions, suggestibility, interests, 
general information, activity, inclination, etc. 
Readers interested in the outcome of these stud- 
ies may find them fully discussed in the books 
enumerated in the appendix. 

In the present connection we shall ask but two 
questions, and shall seek to answer them in so 
far as this is possible in terms of our present 
know^ledge. These questions are: Are there 
any characteristic differences between men and 
women, as we find them to-day, with respect to 
the ways in which they behave as purchasers of 
goods, or as readers of advertisements, or as au- 
ditors of selling talks? If so, the second ques- 
tion will then be: What are these differences, 
and can they be in any way specified, demon- 
strated and measured? 

288 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

We may begin by inquiring whether or not 
there are characteristic differences between the 
things which men buy and those things of which' 
women are purchasers? Clearly this is a ques- 
tion on which the practical business man should 
be able to speak with authority. But if he has 
ever formulated an answer to the question, he has 
either kept the data to himself or published them 
in inaccessible places. At least I have failed to 
find any account, in business literature, of what 
men and women buy. We must rely, then, for 
our information, on a preliminary study which I 
have made on a group of 25 New York City fam- 
ilies, and must, of course, bear in mind that these 
results apply only to families of a similar type, 
living under similar conditions. How far a 
change in conditions effects a change in the role 
of men and women as purchasers only further in- 
vestigation can reveal. But the present results 
are suggestive. 

In this investigation members of the family 
were requested to report, with respect to 80 com- 
monly used articles, whether each article was pur- 
chased (a) by the men of the household alone, or 
(b) solely by the women, or (c) by either or by 
both in consultation. Some information concern- 
ing the character of the homes included may be af- 

289 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



forded by the facts that 72 per cent, of the fam- 
ilies live in apartments, 60 per cent, of them pos- 
sess neither vehicles of conveyance, pets, nor mu- 
sical instruments. The annual income ranged 



TABLE XVTTT 

Men and Women as Purchasers 



Class of 
Article 


No. of Percen- 
Specifi- tageby 
cations Men 
1 Alone 


Percen- 
tage by 
Women 
Alone 


Percen- 
tage by 
Both 


Percen- 
tage by 
Neither 


Men's clothing . 
Women's cloth- 
ing 


11 

11 

6 
6 
3 
4 
3 

8 

5 

6 

5 

12 


65 

1 

10 
2 

19 


23 

4 

13 


3 
6 


11 

87 

48 
89 

5 
96 

1 

48 

7 

87 
79 
22 


23 
12 

41 
8 

15 
4 

15 

46 

20 

13 
14 
68 


1 



Druggist's arti- 
cles 


1 


Kitchen ware. . . 
Pets 


1 
61 


Dry Goods .... 

Vehicles 

House furnish- 
ings 

Musical instru- 
ments 

Raw and mar- 
ket foods .... 

Package foods. . 

Miscellaneous. . 



61 

2 

60 


4 

4 


Totals... 


80 


146 


580 


279 


195 



from $2,000 to $5,000, with perhaps a few run- 
ning higher than this. The commodities may be 
classified under 12 chief headings, with a number 
of specifications arranged under each. The fol- 
lowing table gives these general headings, with 

290 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

the number of specifications under each, and the 
per cent, of the families which reported under the 
respective columns. 

From the examination of the specific articles, 
the following interesting facts emerge : 

1. The only article of clothing bought by men 
exclusively is their own collars. Only 80 per cent, 
buy their own shoes and hats. In over 50 per 
cent, of the cases the men's jewelry, handker- 
chiefs, socks, and underwear are purchased either 
by the women alone or in consultation with them. 
In one-third of the cases the women help buy the 
men's shirts. Only one-third of the men buy their 
own handkerchiefs. 

2. On the other hand, the men participate but 
little in the purchase of the women's apparel. 
Women buy men's things exclusively 11 times as 
often as the men buy women's things exclusively. 
Women cooperate with men twice as much as 
men cooperate with women, in the purchase of 
their respective apparel. 

3. In 100 per cent, of the cases women are sole 
purchasers of their own underwear, lace, thread, 
and cooking utensils. In 80 per cent, of the cases 
they are the sole purchasers of dresses, cloaks, 
footwear, hats, parasols, gloves, fans, handker- 
chiefs, clotheslines, chafing dishes, kitchen tables, 

291 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

ribbons, cloth, flour, vegetables, eggs, butter, 
bread, cereals, water and canned goods. In over 
50 per cent, of the cases they are the sole pur- 
chasers of curtains, mattresses, meats, ranges, 
talcums and perfumes. Women buy 83 per cent, 
of the food, but less than 50 per cent, of the house 
furnishings, exclusively. 

4. Women buy more of the magazines, men 
more of the newspapers. Women buy many w^ed- 
ding presents exclusively, but men participate 
more largely in the purchase of Christmas gifts, 
birthday gifts, and children's toys. Only 5 per 
cent, of the pets are bought by women alone, 20 
per cent, by men alone. 

There are, then, considerable differences be- 
tween the parts played by men and women as pur- 
chasers of goods. If there are now any differ- 
ences in manner of reacting to the appeals of ad- 
vertisements and salesmen, these differences will 
be worth knowing, and such knowledge might be 
effectively utilized in the direction and formation 
of appeals, according as they are designed to 
reach either or both classes. In the course of the 
preceding chapters there has frequently been oc- 
casion to refer to sex differences in one respect or 
another. These differences, along with others 
which have been brought out in experiments simi- 

292 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

lar to those reported here, may now be brought 
together and confirmed. 

1. In so far as we may rely on experiments 
which tend to show on the part of women a 
greater sensitivity to sensory impressions, and a 
more desultory and more permanent memory ca- 
pacity, it is apparent that the mechanical in- 
centives (intensity, magnitude, contrast, motion, 
isolation and position) will be less effective and 
more unnecessary when appealing to women than 
when appealing to men. Further, that there will 
be less need for devices calculated to fix impres- 
sions in consciousness. 

2. Gale finds that women are more attracted 
by pictures than are men, and his curves of at- 
tention values of cuts and reading matter show 
genuine differences in this respect. Strong also 
finds that women are more attracted by cuts than 
are men. In discussing the results of a study of 
50 advertisements for a well-known soap he re- 
marks: ''Only one among the advertisements 
preferred by women could be considered as ap- 
proximating a 'copy-ad,' and there the main in- 
terest, apparently small, I should judge, would lie 
in the three small cuts." (p. 81.) 

3. Much the same thing may be said for the use 
of color. Darwin believed that among the lower 

293 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

animals the female is strongly affected by color, 
which the male consequently develops by the 
process of sexual selection. Thompson found 
that with the individuals studied by her, visual 
experience was more important in the conscious- 
ness of the women than in that of the men, and 
that only the women showed prominent associa- 
tions connected with the different colors. In dis- 
cussing the matter of color preferences we have 
already referred to Wissler 's finding that the pre- 
ferred color of an individual tends to shift toward 
the violet end of the spectrum as he grows older, 
and to the preference of men for blues and of 
women for reds. Of course these preferences are 
very dependent on the uses to which colors are to 
be put, and a preferred color for a necktie may 
not be agreeable to the same individual for the 
interior decoration of a room, or for the back- 
ground of a billboard. 

4. Gale reports that irrelevant material, 
whether in the reading matter or illustration of 
an advertisement, attracts the attention and con- 
sideration of women more easily than is the case 
with men. The table in which his data are given 
shows this to have been the case. Strong re- 
marks, of his experimental results: "The pref- 
erence for the irrelevant among women confirms 

294 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

the early work of Gale upon attention value." 
(p. 80.) 

5. With respect to the strength of special ap- 
peals, certain clear and interesting differences 
have been found. Thus in the table in the pre- 
ceding chapter, giving the relative strength of a 
large number of appeals, the men may be com- 
pared with the women. The results of still other 
investigations make possible further such com- 
parisons. Chief among the differences found here 
are the following: 

(a) The appeal to civic pride, patriotism or 
other form of clan feeling is stronger with women 
than with men. In Table XVII the civic pride ap- 
peal ranks about the same for both men and 
women. But Strong found that advertisements 
for breakfast foods, based on the slogan "Patron- 
ize home industries," were rated "considerably 
higher by the women than by the men (11.1 as 
compared with 14.6) and that of the nine who 
ranked them above eighth place seven were 
women." (p. 45.) 

(b) Appeals to authority of others and to rec- 
ommendation by others are uniformly found to 
be rated higher by men than by women, although 
fairly low for both. Thus in Table XVII the 
"recommendation" appeals average position 38 

295 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

in a series of 50, for men, and only 48th place in 
the series, for women. Similarly Strong finds 
that ''authority advertisements appeal more to 
men than to women." (p. 41.) 

(c) Detailed examination of the relative merit 
of the various appeals discloses the fact that the 
women agree with each other more closely on 
personal appeals (those based on such con- 
ceptions as "style," "nobby," "sanitary," "ap- 
petizing," "social standing," "time saved," 
"safety," "durability," etc.) than do the men. 
They agree with each other about 25 per cent, 
more closely than do the men. Furthermore, they 
agree in placing these appeals higher than do the 
men. 

(d) On appeals made to the instincts and im- 
pulses underlying social solidarity, such as the 
recommendation, the reputation of the firm, fam- 
ily affection, guarantee, union made, sympathy, 
growth of the business, etc., the women disagree 
more than do the men. 

(e) Men disagree most of all on the strength 
of purely personal appeals, such as those indi- 
cated by the words: health, social standing, effi- 
ciency, time saved, ambition, progress, competi- 
tion, etc. Women disagree most of all among 
themselves on the appeals indicated by such 

296 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

words as popularity, recommendation, reputation, 
family affection, guarantee, union made, sympa- 
thy, growth of the firm, etc. 

(f ) These facts lead to the further generaliza- 
tion that the men are homogeneous, that is, tend to 
resemble each other more closely, on their prefer- 
ences, on appeals which are strong. Women, on 
the contrary, tend to be alike with respect to their 
dislikes, appeals which are weak. Whether this 
difference bears in the direction of selection and 
difference in sex experience and training, or 
merely toward the temporary motives which 
operate in reacting toward appeals made in the 
interest of articles of commerce, the experiment 
does not show. The fact that women have definite 
and mutual aversions, with fewer common prefer- 
ences, while men have fewer determinate dislikes, 
but definite and mutual preferences, is an exceed- 
ingly interesting discovery, and one which, if 
verified, may be found to have countless applica- 
tions in business and in other forms of daily ac- 
tivity. Whether the difference be interpreted to 
mean a fundamental and inherent sex difference, 
or merely a difference which reflects our present 
social organization (which is doubtless an ade- 
quate explanation of all the facts) has nothing to 
do with the present usefulness of the fact itself. 

297 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

It should be further pointed out that these com- 
parisons do not rest on the results of a single ex- 
periment. Thus Strong finds that ' ' when women 
are given an equal opportunity with men to rate 
appeals (advertisements) they are able to classify 
their dislikes as well as their preferences, which 
men do not. ... A careful analysis of the 
data shows that women have more and greater 
dislikes than men, and are surer of them." (p. 
79.) Further evidence is afforded by Kuper's ex- 
periments, described in one of the following sec- 
tions of this chapter. 

6. A final difference which is quite commonly 
held to exist between the ways in which men and 
women react to appeals has to do with the two 
forms of appeal which we have characterized as 
''the long circuit" and "the short circuit." 
"Women are popularly supposed to react more 
strongly to emotional situations than do men. 
Since reaction to an emotional situation is what 
characterizes the "short circuit" process of ap- 
peal and response, this would be equivalent to 
saying that short circuit appeals, such as we have 
previously described and illustrated, may be di- 
rected to women more effectively than to men. 
Thus Scott says, in a description of the various 
ways of reaching a decision: "The woman's 

298 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

method of decision" has characteristics of its own. 
"Insufficient time is given to the deliberation, or 
difficulty is found in classifying the problem. The 
deliberation is interrupted by a sudden extreme 
feeling of value attaching itself to one or the 
other contemplated alternative. The feelings 
rush in and take the place of reason. In deciding 
by the woman's method we are scarcely able to 
see how we reached our conclusion and we often 
speak of such decisions as being intuitive. . . . 
Women are supposed to decide in this way more 
often than men. They are supposed to have more 
perfectly developed instincts or intuitions. Their 
sentiment vanquishes attempts to utilize sophisti- 
cated reasoning and the outcome is frequently 
wise and in every way as worthy of respect as are 
the results of more complete forms of delibera- 
tion." (Scott, ''Influencing Men in Business.") 
The same writer then quite properly points out 
that ' ' this method is not at all confined to women, 
but is a very common method of deciding any 
question in which feelings and emotions are prom- 
inent." Indeed, the present writer is inclined to 
go still further and to question the popular notion 
that women are prone to react more strongly to 
emotional situations than are men. The real dif- 
ference, if any exists, is probably due rather to the 

299 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

hind of reaction which is made, and to the type 
of situation which experientially or convention- 
ally has come to have emotional value. It may, 
indeed, be said that all of us reach our most im- 
portant decisions through feelings of value, 
rather than by manipulation of logical premises. 

II. AGE AND CLASS DIFFEKENCES 

On these points there is even less to be said 
than on the preceding topic. This is not because 
the differences are smaller, for none of the sex 
differences found are enormous, nor are they true 
of all individuals — they are differences between 
averages, and hold, when present at all, only of 
men and women in the long run. But the chief 
reason for the lack of material on age and class 
differences in reactions to appeals lies in the fact 
that the topic has seldom been investigated by 
precise and quantitative methods. An interesting 
study of the interests of children has been made 
by Miss Gertrude M. Kuper, who studied the 
reactions and preferences of 200 children of five 
nationalities, there being in the group 10 boys and 
10 girls for each age from 6.5 to 16.5 years. The 
following results are quoted from a report of her 
investigation {Jour, of Phil., July 4, 1912, pp. 
376-379). 

300 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

''The formal experiment consisted in asking an 
individual child to arrange nine pictures in the 
order in Avhich he liked them best. The nine pic- 
tures were chosen to represent nine specific ap- 
peals: landscape, children, animals, religion, 
pathos, sentiment, patriotism, heroism and action. 
(They were Cosmos prints and therefore of uni- 
form size and finish.) In all there were three 
series of these pictures each parallel so far as 
possible with the other two in their appeals. 

"The results were tabulated according to age 
differences, broad social distinctions, and nation- 
ality, but in the last named case the number of 
subjects was so limited (10 boys ard 10 girls to 
each of the following nationalities : Irish, French, 
German, and Italian, and only 9 girls and 8 boys 
to the Spanish) that the results are not held as 
significant. 

''The positive data showed a sex difference in 
the order of preference for these several appeals. 
The girls ' order was : 

Eeligion 

Patriotism 

Children 

Pathos 

Animals 

301 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Sentiment 
Landscape 
The Heroic 
Action 

''The last two were decidedly lowest in the 
scale and the first three were quite clearly high- 
est for all ages ; but the picture representing these 
nine curves was one of bewildering intersections 
as the values changed from year to year. 

''The boys' order was: 

Eeligion 

Patriotism 

Action 

The Heroic 

Pathos 

Animals 

Sentiment 

Landscape 

Children 

"The boys' chart representing the curves for 
these appeals showed greater agreement from 
year to year. Eeligion and patriotism, the heroic 
and action, and landscape and children, kept 
rather parallel courses all along the age scale, 
and no very decided tendencies appeared with 

302 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

progressive age differences. Girls seemed to lose 
somewhat in interest in children and animals and 
to take greater interest in the heroic and action 
pictures. The latter change is explained by the 
fact that as the girls increased in school knowl- 
edge they read an historical background into 
these more or less warlike scenes. 

''Another sex difference noted was the number 
of positive dislikes expressed by each sex. The 
girls gave 161 dislikes as against the boys' 65. 
Boys seemed to entertain relative indifference to- 
ward the appeals at the bottom of the list. 

"In all their comments the girls were far more 
personal than the boys. The personal pronoun 
and references to their individual experiences 
were the usual preface to their statements. With 
the boys it was quite otherwise; they discussed 
the picture as an objective thing . . ." 

These results are particularly interesting as in- 
dicating the early age at which appear the differ- 
ences already discussed in the case of adult men 
and women. 

With respect to class differences, the only ex- 
perimental data known to me are those se- 
cured by Strong, who studied (1) a group of 101 
educated business men, students and teachers, 
(2) a group of 95 educated women, and (3) a 

303 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

miscellaneous group of 97 men selected at ran- 
dom, and including business men, doctors, black- 
smiths, storekeepers, saloonkeepers, policemen, 
bakers, lawyers, postmasters, etc. His report 
gives separate results for the groups men stu- 
dents, women students, farmers, business men, 
doctors, and miscellaneous men. 

The only significant class difference revealed is 
to be found when educated classes are compared 
with uneducated classes. The difference then dis- 
closed is suggested in the remark: "It may be 
that this is a characteristic of such a group of un- 
educated persons — that they are unable to differ- 
entiate complex appeals. That is to say, that on 
the whole any one of these appeals is as strong 
as any other . . ." Strong further shows that 
in experiments intended to measure the relative 
strength of these appeals, whether for psycho- 
logical or for practical purposes, "A group of 50 
college students will represent very closely the 
judgment of groups of educated men and women, 
of young business men, such as attend eveniilg 
school, etc. They will not represent at all the 
judgment of groups from small towns and farming 
sections such as regions around Garrison, N. Y., 
from which the data were obtained." (p. 62.) 



304 



SEX AND CLASS DIFFERENCES 

By way of conclusion it may be remarked that, 
although most of the results presented in this 
treatment of the principles of appeal and re- 
sponse have been demonstrated to be completely 
valid, many of them must be held to be rather 
suggestive than proved. They should be sugges- 
tive in the first place of the kind of information 
that may be secured when human nature is sub- 
mitted to experiment for the purpose of securing 
more knowledge for the concrete purposes of 
practical living. They should be further sugges- 
tive of at least some of the methods which may 
be profitably adopted in such experiments. At 
most, it is not so much the possession of psycho- 
logical data which will prove of practical service 
in daily life, but rather the acquisition of the 
psychological attitude of inquiry, observation and 
interpretation. In the opinion of the writer the 
actual content of this book will prove of less ulti- 
mate service than the method which it advocates 
— that method being in the long run the method 
which must be adopted by any psychological in- 
quiry which aspires to be fruitful, the method of 
systematically observing, analysing and formu- 
lating the way in which the mind works, rather 
than what is in the mind as its work proceeds. 



305 



BOOKS AND ARTICLES REFERRED TO IN THE 

TEXT OR RECO:\IMENDED FOR FURTHER 

READING 

CHAPTER I 

Advertising Magazines. Advertising and Selling, 
Judicious Advertising, Printer's Ink, etc. Articles on 
Replies, Sales, Keying Copy, etc. 

HoLLiNGWORTH. Judgments of Persuasiveness. 
(Psych. Rev., 1911.) 

Strong, E. K., Jr. The Relative Merits of Advertis- 
ing. (Arch. Psychol.) 

Yerkes. Article in Jour. Ed. Psychol., 1911. 

CHAPTER II 

James. Principles of Psychology. 
Ladd and AVoodworth. Physiological Psychology. 
PiLLSBURF. Essentials of Psychology. 
Thorndike. Elements of Psychology. 

CHAPTER III 

Calkins and Holden. Modern Advertising. (Apple- 
tons.) ^ 

Deweese. Practical Publicity. 

French. Science and Art of Advertising. 

Kennedy. Intensive Advertising. Reason- Why Ad- 
vertising. 

Lewis. Financial Advertising. 

Mataja. Die Reklame. 

Starch. Principles of Advertising. 

306 



REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING 

CHAPTER IV 

Arnold. Attention and Interest. 
PiLLSBURY. Attention. 
RiBOT. Diseases of Attention. 
TiTCHENER. Text Book of Psychology. 

CHAPTER V 

HuEY. Physiology and Psychology of Reading. 

MiJNSTERBERG. Psychology and Industrial Efficiency. 

RoETHLEiN. Article in Amer. Jour. Psychol., 1912. 

Scott. Psychology of Advertising. Theory of Ad- 
vertising. 

Strong. Research Bulletins of New York Advertising 
Men's League. 

CHAPTERS VI AND VII 

Allen. Physiological Esthetics. 

Gale. Psychology of Advertising. (Minnesota Stud- 
ies.) 

Hollingw^orth. Judgments of the Comic. (Psych. 
Rev., 1911.) 

Le Conte. Sight. 

Rice. Visual Acuity with Lights of Different Colors. 
(Arch. Psychol.) 

Strong. Relative Merits of Advertisements. (Arch. 
Psychol.) 

CHAPTERS VIII AND IX 

Allen. Physiological Esthetics. 
Gordon. Esthetics. 

Hollingworth. Obliviseenee of the Disagreeable. 
(Jour. Phil, 1910.) 

307 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 

Parsons. Principles of Advertising Arrangement. 
(Published by the Prang Co. for the New York Adver- 
tising Men's League.) 

Puffer. Psychology of Beauty. 

CHAPTER X 
Galton. Inquiries into Human Faculty. 
Gordon. ^Esthetics. 

Parsons. Principles of Advertising Arrangement. 
Scott. Psychology of Advertising. Theory of Ad- 
vertising. 

Sherman. Elements of Literature. 
TiTCHENER, Text Book of Psychology. 

CHAPTER XI 
Bean. The Curve of Forgetting. (Arch. Psychol.) 
Calkins. Association. (Psych. Rev. Mon.) 
Dewey. How We Think. 
Ebbinghaus. On IMemory. 

Ladd and Woodworth. Physiological Psychology. 
Miller. Psychology of Thinking. 
MDnsterberg. On the Witness Stand. 
Scott. Theory of Advertising. 
Watt. Economy and Training of Memory. 

CHAPTER XII 

James. Principles of Psychology. 
MtJNSTERBERG. Psychotherapy. Psychology and the 
Market Place. (McClure's.) 
Ross. Social Psychology. 
Scott. Influencing Men in Business. 
SiDis. Suggestion. 
Tarde. Imitation. 

308 



REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING 
CHAPTER XIII 

McDouGALL. Social Psychology. 

Scott. Psychology of Advertising. Theory of Adver- 
tising. 

Strong. Relative Merits of Advertisements. (Arch. 
Psychol.) 

Thorndike. Elements of Psychology. 



CHAPTER XIV 

Hollingworth. Judgments of Persuasiveness. 
(Psych. Rev., 1911.) 

Strong. Relative Merits of Advertisements. (Arch. 
Psychol. ) 

Wells. On the Variability of Individual . udgment. 
(In Essays in Honor of William James.) 



CHAPTER XV 

Boas. The Mind of Primitive Man. 

Ellis. Man and Woman. 

Hall. Adolescence. 

KuPER. Interests of Children. (Jour. Phil., 1912.) 

Ross. Social Control. 

Strong. Relative Merits of Advertisements. (Arch. 
Psychol.) 

Thompson. Mental Traits of Sex. 

Thorndike. Educational Psychology. 

Woodw^orth. Race Differences in Mental Traits 
(Science, 1910.) 

309 



PRINCIPLES OF APPEAL AND RESPONSE 



Abbreviations Used in Bibliogeaphy 

Am. Jour. Psychol. — American Journal of Psychology. (Worces- 
ter, Mass.) 

Arch. Psychol. — Archives of Psychology. (Columbia University, 
E. S. Woodworth, Editor.) 

Jour. Ed. Psychol. — Journal of Educational Psychology. 

Jour. Phil. — Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific 
Methods. (Columbia University.) 

Psych. Kev. — Psychological Eeview. (Baltimore, Md.) 

(1) 



INDEX 



Abbreviations, 310 

Activity, 114 

Adaptation, 48, 120 

Age differences, 300 

Appeal, measurements of, 
253; nervous basis of, 18; 
varieties of, 261 

Association, feeling tone and, 
172 ; laws of, 191 ; mean- 
ing and basis of, 190 

Atmosphere, 176 

Attention, causes of, 51; defi- 
nition of, 46; fluctuation 
of, 133; holding the, 132; 
laws of, 56, 133; results of, 
52; suggestion and, 232 

Attention value of: activity, 
114 ; arrangement, 152 ; 
black and white, 77; color, 
96; the comic, 119; com- 
plexity, 135; feeling tone, 
138; forms, 149; instinct 
and habit, 125; intensity, 
61 ; irrelevant material, 
110; isolation, 78; lines, 
142; magnitude, 64; media, 
37; motion, 74; novelty, 
92; pages, 83; pictures, 
106; pointers and borders, 
137; position, 80; trade 
marks, 213; type, 72; 
unity, 136; white space, 77 



Backgrounds, 77, 187 
Balance, 153, 164 
Breakfast foods, 249 

Children, interests of, 300 

Chromatic aberration, 104 

Circulars, 41 

Class differences, 303 

Classified advertisements, 32 

Color, attention value of, 96; 
balance of, 194; combina- 
tions of, 162 ; feeling tone 
of, 158; influence of, 97; 
preferences in, 98; third 
dimension and, 103; uses 
of, 102 

Comic appeals, adaptation to, 
120; attention value of, 
119; defects of, 120; ex- 
periments on, 125; varie- 
ties of, 121 

Complexity, 135 

Congruity, 198 

Content, feeling tone of, 158 

Contiguity, 197 

Contrast, 76 

Con-elation of judgments, 281 

Correspondence, 45 

Curves, 147 

Cuts, attention value of, 106; 
relevant and irrelevant, 
110 



311 



INDEX 



Design, 152 

Devices for aiding memoi-y, 

205 
Diagonal lines, 147 
Differences, age, 300; class, 

303; sex, 287 
Diminishing returns, 67 
Directories, 44 
Disagreeable, obliviscence of 

the, 140 
Disagreeable words, 171 
Display advertisements, 35 
Distance of colors, 103 
Distribution of appeals, 203 

Effective conceptions, 242 

Electric light advertisements, 
14 

Equipment of stoi-e, 42 

Error, sources of, 274 

Experiments, with advertise- 
ments, 5, 210, 247, 258; 
with advertising men, 280 ; 
on attention, 57; on bal- 
ance, 164; with children, 
300; on class differences, 
303; on color preferences, 
98; on the comic, 120; 
with elements of design, 
151, 156 ; on imagery, 168 ; 
on lagibility, 72, 186 ; on 
magnitude, 64; with me- 
chanical and interest in- 
centives, 127; with pic- 
tures, 109; on preferred 
positions, 81; on pulling 
power, 247, 257; on pur- 
chasers, 289 ; on relevant 
and iiTclevant material, 
113; on suggested acti^^ty, 



118; on suggestion, 229; 
with trade marks, 213; 
with weights, 253 
Eye, acuity of, 97; chromatic 
aberration of, 104; move- 
ments of, 80, 148, 180 

Feeling of value, 300 

Feeling tone, basis of, 138; 
of colors, 158; of content, 
158; of form, 142; imagi- 
nation and, 168; of lines, 
142; of pictures, 173; of 
words, 171 

Fixing the impression, 189 

Forgetting, curve of, 202; the 
disagTeeable, 140 

Form, feeling tone of, 142 

Forward law, 192 

Frequency, association and, 
200; suggestion and, 234 

Golden section, 150 
Graphite advertisements, 69, 
114 

Habits and instincts, 241 
Headlines, 58 
Holding attention, 132 
Horizontal lines, 145 

Ideo-motor action, 219 

Illustrations, 106 

Imagination, 108, 168 

Incentives, comparison of 
mechanical and interest, 
127; interest, 91; mechani- 
cal, 60 

Instincts, as basis of appeal, 
25, 239; nature and origin 



312 



INDEX 



of, 237; relative strength 
of, 253 

Intensity, 61 

Interest devices, 138 

Interest incentives, 70, 90, 
127 

Interest, individual differ- 
ences in, 293, 300; memory 
and, 235; varieties of, 50 

Laws, of adaptation, 120; of 
association, 191; of atten- 
tion, 56, 133; of balance, 
15-4, 164; of color combi- 
nation, 162; of feeling- 
tone, 139 ; of psyehophys- 
ics, 67; of reading, 80, 117, 
137, 180; of resting point, 
114; of suggestion, 218, 
224 
Legibility of type, 72, 77, 180 
Lines, feeling tone of, 142 
Long circuit appeals, 23, 246 

Machinery advertisements, 6 

Magazines, 40 

Magnitude, 64 

Measurement of appeals, 1, 5, 
253 

Mechanical devices, 60, 89, 
127, 135 

Media, 38 

Memory, devices for aiding, 
205; for different kinds of 
facts. 208; experiments on, 
208, 210, 212, 235; loss of, 
203 

Men and women, as pur- 
chasers, 289; interests of, 
293, 300 



Methods of investigation, 85, 

253, 305 
Motion, 74, 114 

Nervous system, 17, 20 
News interest, 39, 225 
Newspapers, 38 
Novelties, 43 
Novelty, 92 

Oblongs, 150 

Order of merit method, 254 

Pages, value of, 83 
Persuasion, 132 
Persuasiveness, measure- 

ments of, 258; table of, 

277 
Pictures, 106, 110, 173, 294 
Pleasantness, 139, 199 
Pointers, 137 
Position, 80 
Preferences, for colors, 98; 

for position, 80 
Principles, of arrangement, 

140; of connection, 191; of 

revival, 200 
Provoking the response, 216 
Psychophysical law, 67 
Publicity advertisements, 33 
Pulling power, 2, 5, 127, 247 

Quality, of advertisements, 
65; and balance, 165; ot 
colors, 158; of lines, 142 

Reading habits, 80, 137, 180 
Reading matter, 112, 211 
Reasoning, 22, 27, 224, 278, 

284 



313 



INDEX 



References for further read- 
ing, 306 
Relaxation, 177 
Repetition, 204, 235 
Response, 18, 216 
Rhythm, 152, 206 

Selling points, 120, 278 

Sex differences, 287 

Short circuit appeals, 24, 218, 

245 
Similarity, 197 
Soap advertising, 13 
Space, 64, 78 
Spacing, 181 
Squares, 150 
Stability, 156 
Strain, 177 

Strength of instincts, 253 
Substitutes, 174 
Suggested activity, 114 
Suggestion, 218, 224, 229 
Symmetry, 153 
Synaesthesia, 176 



Tasks of an appeal, 28 
Third dimension, 103 
Trade marks, 212 
Triangles, 149 
Type, legibility of, 72, 180; 

appi'opriate use of, 166 
Types of imagination, 108, 
'l69 



Unity, of advertisements, 
136 ; complexity and, 135 ; 
methods of securing, 137; 
of sentences, 58 



Verticals, 144 

Vicarious sacrifices in adver- 
tising, 213 
Vividness, 201 



White space, 78 
Words, 171 



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